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So, I was getting another account at the bank, and there were all kinds of variety and options. To cut the story short, that bank worker and me started to talk about my options over debit card and credit card, and he said:

Credit cards have much bigger security than regular debit cards.

Why and how is that so? Isn't security for all cards the same?

  • The computer-based information security, which is ontopic here, is mostly the same. In US but not necessarily other places, what concerns many people is the 'dispute' process, when there is fraud or mistake, is easier with credit cards than debit cards; see money.SX for that part. – dave_thompson_085 Jul 29 '16 at 10:23
  • @dave_thompson_085 : I think dispute process is somewhat a little off-topic. If it doesn't breach easily in the first place, then there will be little to none dispute to deal with. Follow the dispute trends, it can end up in all direction, including social engineering fraud. – mootmoot Jul 29 '16 at 11:08
  • Perhaps , bigger security should be changed to Limited liability for lost/stolen cards and ability to dispute transactions. – mootmoot Jul 29 '16 at 12:06
  • @mootmoot: both you and Dave_thompson_085 are correct. The OP may have assumed the bank worker was talking about which card was more secure in the context of computer security, when what he was actually talking about was consumer security. Because of that, this question should probably be moved to money.stackexchange.com – Mark Ripley Jul 29 '16 at 12:08
  • No, au contrair, I'm interested in computer based security, not dispute process. – Josip Ivic Jul 29 '16 at 12:17
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Credit cards are not more secure in the technological sense. Rather, they are safer (as far as an individual is concerned) in that it is much easer to deal with credit card fraud than debit card fraud, should it occur.

The reason for this is fairly simple. This article explains it pretty well:

The key difference: With a credit card, the card issuer must fight to get its money back. With a debit card, you must fight to get your money back.

DEBIT CARD FRAUD

According to the EFTA, your potential liability for fraudulent debit card transactions is virtually unlimited. You have up to 60 days to report a lost or stolen card under the EFTA. After that, you simply lose whatever money was taken, even funds siphoned from linked accounts.

CREDIT CARD FRAUD

Under the FCBA, your maximum liability for fraudulent credit card transactions is $50. If you report your card lost or stolen before any fraudulent transactions occur, your liability is zero. Many credit cards promise zero liability for all fraudulent transactions.

“I’ve had my credit card information stolen and used fraudulently a number of times,” says Tucker Spillane, a 24-year-old credit analyst from New York. “Fortunately, my issuer almost always picks up on it right away … usually because the activity is considered abnormal from my typical spending habits. And they provide their own fraud coverage anyway. I’ve never had to pay a dime.”

In practice, this means that if fraud occurs on your credit card, a simple phone call to your CC company saying "this charge is fraudulent" will likely resolve the issue on your end. They'll issue you a new card, the fraudulent charge will be removed, and no money will ever be deducted from your personal checking or savings account.

In contrast, with debit card fraud, the money is immediately deducted from your personal bank account. Even if you are ultimately not held responsible for it, it may take weeks or months for the money to be restored while the case is investigated. If you don't have enough money in cash or in other accounts left to cover day to day expenses, you're just out of luck.

EDIT to add: The above reference is US-specific. The situation is similar in many other countries but you should research the fraud protection laws that pertain to the country you live in.

  • Again, SOMEBODY will argue that this may not be true, as "banks in each country act differently". – mootmoot Jul 29 '16 at 11:44
  • I'd agree with this answer. Just to add to this as the references are US specific, there's a similar situation in the UK where credit cards have a better fraud guarantee than debit cards moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/… has more details – Rоry McCune Jul 29 '16 at 11:45
  • I think credit cards can be more secure in a technological sense if you consider that through home banking your bank can give you virtual credit cards, that are valid for only one transaction and/or have a limit on the amount of money. At least that's what most banks in Europe do, don't know about US. – ChatterOne Jul 29 '16 at 13:01

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