The Safer Way To Use Your Debit Card

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If you know money expert Clark Howard, you’re well aware that he’s not a fan of making purchases with debit cards.

Clark’s beef with debit cards has to do with the lack of consumer protections they offer compared to credit cards.

Here’s the Safer Way To Use Your Debit Card

Clark says that using a debit card with popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and G Pay (Google Pay) gives you a layer of consumer protection you wouldn’t have otherwise.

“Yes, there is added protection using Apple Pay or G Pay because they’re generating basically a randomized number every time you use them. That would be a safer platform for you to use a debit card than the normal way.”

If you’re unfamiliar with digital wallets, here’s a great resource to catch you up. If you’re interested in using Apple Pay and G Pay specifically, here are some steps to take as well as information on how secure each platform is.

How To Use Apple Pay

Screenshot via

Apple Pay works only with Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad — not Android devices. To set up Apple Pay on your iPhone, just follow these steps:

  • Open your Wallet app.
  • Tap on the plus icon in the top-right corner.
  • Scan your debit or credit card with your iPhone.
  • Agree to usage terms from your bank.

When I entered my debit card information from my credit union into Apple Pay, it gave me the option to set it as my default card in my Wallet, which I did. After that, I was ready to go.

How Secure Is Apple Pay?

The platform’s website says, “Apple Pay is safer than using a physical credit, debit, or prepaid card. Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode are required for purchases on your iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, or iPad. Your card number and identity aren’t shared with merchants, and your actual card numbers aren’t stored on your device or on Apple servers.”

How To Use G Pay

G Pay app
Screenshot via G Pay app

G Pay’s setup instructions are similar, but there are some key differences. For instance, you have to have a Google account to use G Pay. The platform also comes with the ability to get cash back on qualifying actions when you opt-in to its rewards program.

  • Download the G Pay app (Android | iOS).
  • Add your phone number to create an account.
  • Tap on Add an account.
  • Enter your bank credentials.
  • Verify the code sent to your phone.
  • Choose the account you want to add and tap Done.

How Secure Is G Pay?

Google says that G Pay encrypts your payment information and stores it on secure servers.

The platform’s website says, “When you’re paying in-store, Google Pay doesn’t share your actual card info. Instead, the merchant receives a unique encrypted number.”


Here’s more about G Pay security.

Final Thoughts

No matter whether you choose Apple Pay or G Pay, you still get all your card’s rewards and benefits. Paying via digital wallet is also very convenient.

“The electronic ways of paying are just going to get better and better,” Clark says.

As a final tip to help safeguard your finances when using a debit card, consider lowering the daily withdrawal limit on your bank account. Doing this will ensure that if your card is compromised in some way, the crook won’t get access to everything in the account.

Many banks have daily purchase and withdrawal limits based on their policies as well as the amount of money available in your account.

To inquire about specifics, you should be able to log on to your online bank account, call the number on the back of your debit card or talk with a banker at your local branch.

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