Have you ever wondered what happens between the time you swipe your debit card and when you get notified that the transaction has been approved?
Your account information actually makes quite a few stops:
- First, the reader at the POS decodes the debit card data.
- Next, your purchase information gets sent to the merchant’s bank, which connects the store to the payment network your card runs on.
- Then the payment network sends the purchase information to your bank for authorization, where the bank verifies that you have enough money to make the purchase.
- If you’ve got enough, the bank approves it and deducts the purchase amount from your account, adding the charge to your statement.
- The merchant’s bank is now allowed to move ahead, and your transaction is completed.
Just think – all that in only a matter of seconds! So the next time you’re tapping your foot, waiting for a transaction to go through, realize all that’s going on behind the scenes.