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Which Way To Swipe The Card?

Last modified: Jul 24, 2023

Do you know how to use your debit card? Swiping is the easiest method, but which way to swipe the card? You may be surprised to discover several ways to swipe your card, get cash, or make a purchase. Depending on the situation, you may use one method over another. Here's a look at the different ways to use your debit card. Read on! 

Which way to swipe the card?

How to swipe your card?

So, how to swipe a card? If you're using a credit or debit card, the general rule is to swipe or insert the card with the stripe facing down and the front facing up. If the terminal has the card, go in flat or horizontally. However, there are some cases where you may need to swipe the card in a different direction.

For example, if you're using an older magnetic stripe card designed to swipe cards vertically, you may need to swipe it with the stripe facing down on the left.

So if you need help deciding which way to swipe your card, ask the cashier or representative, and they'll be able to help you out.

Related: Cybercrime And Identity Theft Statistics (2022 Edition)

Ways of using/paying with a card

Striping thru the slot on the card reader 

There are several ways to pay with a card. The most common is card swiping through a slot on the reader, which reads the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. This type of payment is known as 'card present' because the card is physically present at the time of purchase.

Chip reader

Another way to pay is to use a chip reader. These are becoming more common, especially in Europe, as they are more secure than magnetic stripe payments. To use a chip reader, insert your card into the reader and enter your PIN. The chip in the card then interacts with the reader to authorize the payment.

Contactless payments

Contactless payments are also becoming more common. With this type of payment, you hold your card near a particular reader, and the payment is authorized. No PIN or swiping cards are required.

Gift cards

Gift cards are another type of card that people can use for payment. Gift cards are pre-loaded with a certain amount of money, and you can use them for payment as a debit or credit card. To use a gift card, swipe it through the card reader or enter the card number into the terminal. And which way do you swipe a card? It's easy; swipe with the stripe facing down.

Read more: How To Withdraw Money From My Checking Account Without A Debit Card

How does a payment terminal work?

A payment terminal, a point-of-sale terminal, a credit card machine, or a cash register, is a computerized device that enables merchants to accept payments for goods and services electronically.

The payment terminal typically contains a magnetic stripe reader and a chip reader to read the customer's credit or debit card information. The payment terminal also includes a keypad for the customer to enter their PIN (personal identification number) and a display screen for the merchant to view the transaction details.

When the customer's card is swiped through the magnetic stripe reader or inserted into the chip reader, the payment terminal sends the customer's account information to the bank (via an electronic funds transfer network) for authorization. 

Steps on how to use a debit card 

1. To use your debit card, present it to the merchant at the time of purchase.

2. The payment will then be processed, and the transaction will be complete when approved.

3. Sometimes, you may be required to enter your PIN (personal identification number) for additional security.

4. Please note that fees may be associated with using your debit card, depending on your bank or credit card issuer.

5. Once the transaction is complete, you will receive an approval notice from the merchant.

Bottom Line 

So, now that you know how to swipe a debit card - in which direction should the magnetic strip be facing? In general, the stripe should be facing toward the merchant. That way, when the card is swiped, it will read correctly, and the transaction can go through smoothly. This knowledge could come in handy if you find yourself traveling or dining out at a restaurant that doesn't accept your home country's debit cards. Knowing how to swipe your card correctly will save you from any potential headaches while making a purchase.



How do I use a credit card for the first time?

When you receive your credit card, an instruction booklet will be included to guide you through the activation process. You will need to provide personal information (name, address, social security number) and set up a payment method (bank account or debit card). You can also choose to receive your monthly statements electronically or by mail. Once your card is activated, you can start using it for purchases by swiping it at the point-of-sale terminal or by entering the card number into the online checkout form.

What is a card-swiping machine called?

A card-swiping machine, or credit card reader, is a device that reads the information stored on a credit or debit card's magnetic stripe. This information is then used to authorize a payment for purchasing goods or services. Card-swiping machines are commonly found in retail stores, restaurants, and other places where payments are made. They can be manual or electronic and are usually connected to a computer or point-of-sale (POS) system.

Which side of the card do you use for contactless?

When you want to use contactless payment, you can determine does your card support contactless payment by recognizing the sign of contactless payment. The payment terminal should support this method also. Then you face the card with the side where the sign for contactless payment is placed to the sign at the payment terminal.


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