5 features you need from your credit/debit card to make online payments: What each feature mean.

Having a Master Card, Visa Card, Discover Card or any other – in your wallet is like walking with ready cash in your pocket. What is so good about cards is that you can move with any sum of money and never feel the burden of a bulk; but just a slim-light card. With just a swipe or entering a couple of numbers, you can use your card to make payments anywhere in the world; even online.

Using a card is the easiest and most popular way of making online payments, you enter numbers on your card and some other little information – on any website that accepts your card company and your payment would be processed and finished in just a couple of seconds. But before we go any further, make sure you read my previous article on what to keep in mind when making online payments, as it will give you ideas on how to keep safe online.

Types of payment cards.

There are many companies that make payment cards out there but the most common ones are Visa-card and MasterCard. These cards are then issued out to customers by financial institutions-most of the times banks.

These cards come in two ways: Credit cards and Debit cards. Let us look at what each one of them is.

Credit Card.

A credit card is a type of payment card card that is issued out to a customer-by their financial institution that enable them to make payments for goods and services. The card is always linked to a cardholder’s account or bank account. What to note with this card type -without using any financial terms that confuse us most of the time – is that the money on this card is borrowed.

The cardholder borrows money in a way of cash advances from the financial institution or bank and later pays some charges and when repaying the money back, pays an interest as set by the card issuer or financial institution (bank).

Debt Card.

What makes a debit card different from a credit card is that the money is not borrowed. Still the money on the debit card is linked with cardholder’s account with the card issuer and the money the cardholder uses, is money that they have saved or banked on their account. In other wards, the cardholder uses money that is currently available on their (bank) account.

A Debit Card is a payment card the enable users to make payment for goods and services with money in their bank account without having to carry the money physically.

What you need from cards to make online payments.

You just need four features – or maybe five from your credit/debit card to make payments. Bellow we look at each one of them and what it means.

Front of the credit card showing the name and card number
Front of the credit card showing the name and card number

1. The Card Number

This is the most visible part on the card. The card number is a 16 digit number at the top of your card. It is always written in big-bold numbers and can easily be identified by the user.

This number is used to identify which credit/debit card which is making the payment and associate with account that is to be debited from the card issuer.

2. Card Name/Cardholder

Like most things we do in our lives, we have to identify our selves and there is nothing that can describe some as their names. In the same way, when making online payments you have to write down your first and last name (possibly your middle name if you got one); as they are written on your card.

Only the names which are written on the card are allowed; this is because when they were registering the card with the card company, they registered the names as they are written on the card. All your names won’t work but only those on your card. For example if you registered three names with your bank and only see two names on the card, you will have to use those two names on the card.

Back of a credit card showing the signature and csc number.
Back of a credit card showing the signature and csc number.

3. CSC (Card Security Code)

The card security code is typically the last three or four digits printed, not embossed like the card number, on the signature strip on the back of the card. On American Express cards, the card security code is the four digits printed (not embossed) on the front towards the right. You need to find these numbers if you want to make online payments.

4. The Expiration

Another thing you need is; you have to specify the date when your card will expire, this is normally a month and the year. When making online payments, you have to tell the merchant the validity of the your card; that is the month and year. You can get to find all this also at the front or top of your card, normally a number written next to ‘Expires End’ or ‘Valid till’.

5. Card Maker/Card Company

This one is not so important because at times it is specified for you automatically when you enter the card number. If it happens that they ask for you to specify the card maker or electronic transfer service company your card is using, you can ask your bank or by simply identifying the company logo on top of the card. One of the most prominent one are Visa and Master Card, so you are most likely to be using either of the two.


With all the above features I have mentioned, you can make payments for almost anything on the Internet. If you have any other question, thoughts or any help you want from me, send me a direct message with the contact form on my contact page or leave a comment bellow.