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How does PIN-debit work?

PIN-debit works similarly to credit card sales - payments are authorized through a digital network in real-time with the card-issuing bank. With PIN-debit, funds are removed immediately from customer accounts.

PIN-debit transactions run through a digital payment network, just like credit card networks. There are dozens of PIN-debit networks, some of them larger than others. Several PIN-networks are managed by Visa/MasterCard. 

Unlike credit cards, PIN-debit sales don't rely on a 2-step (authorization and capture) process. Instead, sales are authorized and completed in real time as the sale is processed. This means that your customers will see funds removed from their bank account immediately upon sale completion. As such, PIN-debit transactions are considered "finalized" immediately - this differs from credit cards, which can be "adjusted" anytime prior to the batch-out period at the end of the day.

There are a few big ramifications to utilizing PIN. The first is that you can't void a PIN-debit transaction, you must refund the value to the customer. The other factor to consider is that PIN-debit transactions are much harder for your customers to dispute. Since they utilize a unique PIN number, it's hard for them to claim fraud/impersonation like they can with a credit card signature. As such, PIN-debit sales are typically considered safer for merchants.

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