Understanding the use of your Bank Cards

The use of bank cards has increased substantially in Kenya. According to the Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) National Payments Strategy paper 2022 – 2025, the volumes and values of card transactions have been increasing over time. Recent data from CBK shows that the use of the cards, mostly ATM cards at point-of-sale terminals rose from a low of 676,275 transactions in August 2014 to 4.4 million transactions in May 2022. This shows the increased popularity of using bank cards for transactions. Additionally, the use of bank cards accelerated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which discouraged the handling of cash.

Despite the increased use of debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards, not so many are familiar with the individual uses of these cards. Here is how you can purposely use these different bank cards to ease your transactions:

Debit cards

Use of debit cards has been growing with the rise of swiping cards at supermarkets, fuel stations, restaurants, and other establishments. Debit cards draw money directly from your linked bank account. They give you direct access to your cash and you can easily withdraw money from an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

For businesses, the use of debit cards helps to reduce cash management costs since the money is credited directly into the account. It also makes accounting easier and results in fewer missed purchases since lack of physical cash is not an impediment to a sale.

At Family Bank, we currently issue two types of visa debit cards, a classic card and a gold card. The visa debit cards allow you to access funds in your account and make payments for goods and services securely and conveniently, both at merchant locations and online via e-commerce.

Credit cards

Credit cards allow you to make purchases using money that you “borrow” from the bank. Credit card often have a spending limit referred to as a credit line that allows you to avoid overspending on credit purchases. Everyone gets a different credit line which is calculated based on your credit history. Credit cards, if used responsibly, help you build good credit which helps lower the interest rates you will pay for other loans, such as home or car loans. Credit cards can also help with budgeting, either through the budgeting tools the issuer offers or by allowing you to track and categorize spending.

At Family Bank, we issue two types of visa credit cards, a classic card and a gold card. Settlement of the outstanding amount accrued on the credit card can be made in instalments or paid in full.

Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are cards that are loaded with funds prior to their usage. They are not linked to a bank checking account. A prepaid card is particularly useful for online transactions, helping young people acquire budgeting skills at a young age and allow e-traders to transact in multiple currencies.

Family Bank offers a range of prepaid cards. These include the General-Purpose Family card, Youth card for youth aged 18 years to 25 years and Student card for students below 18 years all available in Kenya shillings. The bank also offers a Multi-Currency card which is available in five currencies including KES, USD, EURO and GBP ideal for travelling and business purposes.

The different Family Bank prepaid cards can be used by both customers and non-customers. One does not need to have a bank account with Family Bank to sign up for the prepaid card.