You Can Have Your Debit Card—And Authorized Users, Too!

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You Can Have Your Debit Card—And Authorized Users, Too!

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You may not have had any trouble yet, but allowing other people to use your debit card and PIN is against the rules.

You Can Have Your Debit Card—And Authorized Users, Too! By Judy Heft

Recently I was interrupted during a fabulous vacation by a call from the bank. Thankfully they weren’t calling about the card I was intending to use for the check, but they did have some concerns about something else that is dear to my heart: one of my clients.

The bank had picked up on some activity that it considered suspicious. A lot of money was being withdrawn from the ATM, and that triggered a security feature that retrieved the image of the person making the withdrawals. The person on the phone described the person making the withdrawals to me, and right away I knew that it was my client’s caregiver and that she had permission to use the card.

Deep down I knew that no one is supposed to give their debit card and PIN to anyone else, but I was unprepared for what happened next. The person from the bank informed me that it was a breach of contract for my client to give her card and PIN to anyone else, and that they would have to freeze the account.

You Can Have Your Debit Card—And Authorized Users, Too! By Judy HeftAs a business owner myself, I knew that it is relatively easy to obtain credit cards with different authorized users, but I didn’t remember ever encountering a debit card that had more than one authorized user. As it turns out, I must not get out very much—because I just learned about three different ways to ensure you never breach your contract with your bank:

  • Add an authorized user: Not every bank offers this option, but it is possible to obtain another debit card with an authorized user’s name imprinted on it.

  • Get a business debit card: For those who have a business, having a business debit card simplifies the process of paying bills, etc., because the money is deducted straight from the checking account. Furthermore, most banks offer the option of adding authorized users.

  • Open a new account: Setting up a new account is another way to ensure that the card being used bears the name of the person using it. It also helps categorizing expenses; for example, some of my clients have special bill-paying debit cards, while others have accounts for their caregivers to use for shopping.

Learn from my client’s mistake instead of learning the hard way: Be sure that anyone you need to purchase things on your behalf is an authorized user and avoid being frozen out of your account.

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