We are part of a global economy in which we have access to the biggest brands out there in the world. And at the same time we Indians travel, shop, and import things a lot from foreign countries.
But to do that, we also need to pay the money in the local currency of the country from which we are shopping. But usually, we will be having a bank account whose currency is INR.
Then how can we do it?
We can do it with the help of the debit cards that we have been issued by our bank. This little plastic card can do a lot more things than just helping us withdraw cash and shop in India.
So how easy it is to use the Indian debit cards internationally?
If you want a short answer then it is very easy.
Things to Know Before Using the Debit Card Internationally
To start using your debit card internationally there are a few checks to be done by you.
Not all Cards Support International Payments
Yes, you read it right not all the cards that are issued by Indian banks support international payments. So you will need to check if your card supports it.
How can you do that?
It is very simple, by just looking at your debit card’s design you can make out if your card supports this. If your card supports then “International Debit Card” is mentioned on the front side of the card.
What if it is not mentioned?
Usually, the banks mention this right on the front side of the card. But if you don’t find it mentioned. Then still there are good chances that your card supports it.
The next thing you can do is call the customer care of your bank. And ask them if your card supports international payments.
But if your card does not support international payments. Then don’t worry you can apply for a new card that supports it.
You Should Block the Card Immediately upon Unusually Activity
It is very important to understand that it is hard to raise a complaint about international payments and get it resolved.
That is because the parties and also the banks of the parties involved belong to different countries. So before entering your card details.
You have to make sure that you are on a trusted website. To help you in this case I will give you a tip at the end of this article.
But still in case if you notice any kind of unusual activity with your card. Then you should immediately block the card.
As soon as you notice this call the customer care of your bank and ask them to block it. The even faster way to block the card is using the mobile banking application of your bank.
Ask Your Bank About Forex Markup they will Charge You
Whenever you do an international transaction with the help of your debit card. The banks will charge you for this service.
When you use your debit card for a domestic transaction within India this is not the case. Only the amount of your purchase will be deducted from your bank account.
But in the case of international transactions, the bank adds up a charge what is called Forex Markup to the amount that will be deducted.
And on that additional GST of 18% will be applied. This charge varies from bank to bank. That is why I told you to ask your bank about this charge before you make the transaction.
This charge ranges somewhere around 1% to 4% of the transaction amount.
How is this calculated?
Let us consider that your bank is charging 1% as the forex markup. And the transaction you are making is worth Rs. 10,000 INR.
This Rs. 10,000 INR after the currency conversion. So 1% of 10,000 is Rs. 100 INR + 18% of GST.
In case you have multiple bank accounts and have multiple debit cards. Then I recommend you check the forex markup charge of all your cards.
And then use the debit card with the lowest charges.
How to Use Your Debit Card Internationally?
As you now know the important things before using your Indian debit cards internationally. The logic behind using this card is very simple.
But still, most of the people receive an error message saying Transaction Declined by the Card Issuer.
This is the most received error while using the debit card. But that is because of a reason. As per the regulations of the Reserve Bank of India.
The bank has to deactivate the international usage of debit cards by default. This has been done to curb unauthorized international payment frauds.
So when you receive the debit card from your bank. It is activated only for domestic usage. You have to get your card activated and prepared for international payments before using it.
Here I have used 2 terms and they are “Activated” and “Prepared”. Let me tell you why.
Activated: This is to tell your bank that you want to use the card for an international payment. Hence it should pass the transactions and not decline it.
Prepared: This is to set the right usage limit for your transaction. If you are doing a small transaction that will be worth Rs. 2,000 (example) then set the limit the maximum limit to Rs. 2,500. In case of a high-value transaction set the limit accordingly.
Ok, now how to use the card?
Step 1: Get your Card Activated
Log in to your internet banking account or use the mobile banking app of your bank. Go to the debit cards section and select the card you want to use.
There will be a separate option with the label “International Usage” toggle the button. And then set your maximum limits as per your requirements.
Note: Some banks update this setting in real-time while some take a maximum of 1 working day. So check this with your bank. Once the setting is updated you will receive an SMS from your bank.
Step 2: Make Sure you are On the Right Website
This is important to avoid getting prey to phishing attacks. Verify the authenticity of the website before entering your debit card details on the website.
If you think there is something not right then you should avoid making the payment. Once you have done entering your card details on any website for the payment. It is really hard to stop it.
Step 3: Check the Billing Amount Correctly
As you are making an international payment you should check the billing amount correctly. Many of us end up paying more because we do not convert the amount in our currency before making the payment.
We instead wait for the SMS from our bank to know how much has been charged. This is not a good practice.
So check the billing amount first make sure the amount is the same as what you are intended to pay. And then use any currency converter to check how much it will make in Indian currency.
If everything is fine, then go ahead with the payment.
Step 4: Enter your Card Details Correctly
While entering your card details on the payment page you have to make sure that you don’t enter the wrong details. If you enter the wrong details multiple times.
Then your bank will block the card. This works just as it works domestically upon entering the wrong details.
After entering your card details you have to look for an option called Remember my Card for Future Payments.
You should uncheck or untick this. It is not a good practice to allow an international website to store your card details unless you really trust the website.
Step 5: Authenticate and Complete the Payment
What was the Tip I was talking about?
I had mentioned that I will give you a tip to ensure you are in safer hands for resolving any payment issues. (in case they happen)
So let me tell you the tip.
On the payment gateway or the payment page 95% of the time you will see the Pay with PayPal option. And I highly recommend you to use this option.
That is because if there are any payment disputes then PayPal will help you resolve this for you. They also have a customer care number. You can call them and talk in Hindi, any other Indian language, or English as per your choice.
This was all you should know to use your Indian debit card for international payments.