What the Debit Card vs. ATM Card Comparison Means for Merchants

debit card vs atm card

Can a debit card be used as an ATM card? The short answer is yes. However, while both give cardholders access to funds in their bank accounts, there are differences. Besides, the debit card vs. ATM card comparison affects consumers and merchants alike.

Is an ATM Card and a Debit Card the Same?

ATM and debit cards are not the same. While an ATM or a bank card is linked only to a bank, a debit card is linked to a bank as well as a payment processor such as Visa or Mastercard. One of the main differences is where you may use both cards, and in this aspect of the ATM card vs. debit card comparison, the latter comes on top.

If you have an ATM card, you may use it only at ATMs, and you cannot use it outside of the United States. A debit card, on the other hand, lets you access your money in different ways.

  • Withdraw through ATMs
  • Make payments at brick-and-mortar stores
  • Make online payments
  • Use internationally

Store owners who have ATMs on their premises stand to collect surcharge fees from ATM and debit card users alike.

The Effect on Merchants

No matter whether you run a convenience store, grocery store, restaurant, bar, or gas station, you might benefit by looking at what the ATM vs. debit card comparison means for your business. Consider this – you own a convenience store that accepts card payments. In comes a customer with an ATM card, who you have to turn away because you cannot accept ATM card payments.

If you have an ATM in your store, the customer may withdraw the required cash and move forward with the intended purchase. Besides, even when ATM card users use your ATM without making any purchases at your store, you still earn money in the form of ATM surcharge, which is one of the key benefits of owning or leasing an ATM.

Businesses that do not accept card payments because of the fees they need to pay may also benefit by installing ATMs. In this case, you may direct people with ATM and debit cards to your ATM, and you stand to earn a surcharge on each transaction. Besides, having an ATM at your location, especially when there’s no other in the vicinity, typically results in higher foot traffic, which is also good for business.


The debit card vs. ATM card comparison tilts in favor of the former because it gives a cardholder more ways to access money. For instance, you cannot use an ATM card for online payments, but debit cards let you do so with ease. If you’re a business owner that accepts card payments, you might miss out on possible business when it comes to people who wish to use ATM cards, unless you have an ATM. Besides, investing in an ATM comes with various other benefits too.

If you wish to reap the benefits that come with becoming an ATM owner, consider getting in touch with a reliable ATM placement, processing, and management company to discuss your needs.

If you need an ATM at any other type of location, contact us now.

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