When the first debit cards arrived on the scene in the late 1980s, they were all issued by banks and linked to current accounts.

The vast majority of debit cards still draw money from a standard bank account, it is not necessary to have a bank account in order to get your hands on a debit card.

How Does a Debit Card Work?

When you pay for something with a debit card, whether that is online or in-store, the merchant puts a hold on that amount of money. The money used to pay for the goods or services is drawn from a pool of money. While this pool is usually derived from a current account, it can also be from an amount of money which has been pre-loaded onto a debit card.

Debit cards are also used to withdraw cash from ATMs and at certain retailers which also offer cashback when you shop there.

You can also use a debit card to set up regular payments, such as subscriptions or payment for an ongoing service.

What Types of Debit Card are Available?

Debit Cards from Banks or Building Societies

Most current accounts offer customers a traditional debit card which can be used to withdraw cash and pay for things in stores or online. This plastic card will have a long 16-digit number on it as well as your account number and sort code.

Prepaid Debit Cards

A prepaid debit card is the type of debit card that don’t require you to have a bank account. You can load cash onto them and then use them to pay for goods and services. Loading money onto prepaid debit cards can be done in a number of different ways including transferring money from an existing bank account onto your card.

However, given that prepaid debit cards are popular with people who do not have bank accounts, there are other ways to get money onto them. You can go to certain designated stores and give them cash, which they will load onto the card for you using a PayPoint service.

If you do not have a bank account, you can also have your wages and other forms of income paid directly onto your prepaid debit card.

Prepaid debit cards can be offered by banks, but they are likely to use your interest in getting one as a way to persuade you to take out an account. Other prepaid cards are issued by fintech companies or so-called challenger banks, which operate mostly online.

Store Cards

Some retailers will issue debit and credit cards which are linked to that retailer’s loyalty scheme. Debit cards issued by certain retailers are prepaid cards which require you to load cash onto the card. This can be done in-store or online.

Digital Debit Cards

As well as getting a plastic debit card, you can also have your debit card set up on your phone. This allows you to make contactless payments without having to take your debit card out of your wallet or purse.

Suits Me

How can I get a Suits Me Debit Card?

We provide all of our Suits Me current account holders with a contactless Visa debit card free of charge.

To apply for a Suits Me current account to receive your free Visa debit card, simply complete our quick and easy online application form. Providing that the details that you have given in the application form are correct and the relevant ID has been included, your account will be open within 15 minutes, giving you instant access to your online banking to be able to start managing your money. Your debit card will then arrive in the post within 3-5 working days.