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Is there a difference between signing for a debit card purchase and using my PIN?

Yes. Many stores allow you to select the debit card payment option you prefer: PIN or signature (pen).

PIN-based transactions: At many stores that have a PIN keypad, you are given the option of "debit" or "credit" when using your debit card. If you choose "debit,"you'll enter your PIN. If you choose "credit," you'll provide your signature. The result is the same: the money will come directly out of your bank account. But PIN-based transactions may not be covered by your bank's "zero liability" fraud protection policy, so it's a good idea to find that out in advance. 

Signature-based transactions: These require you to sign for your purchase instead of entering a PIN, and typically require you to first press "credit" on the keypad. It may take a little longer for the money to come out of your account, but it is still a debit (not a credit), and the money will be deducted from your balance. The main benefit of signature-based debit transactions is the possibility of greater consumer protections (for example, it may be easier to dispute a transaction).


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Is there a difference between signing for a debit card purchase and using my PIN?


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