Signature & PIN Debit Processing

Vantage can set up your business accept both signature and PIN debit cards for payment. We are registered with all regional and national debit networks, so no matter where you or your customers are located, we can handle your debit processing needs.

What are debit cards, and how do they differ from check cards?
Both forms of debit directly access the cardholders bank account to secure and hold the authorization amount against available funds. The difference between them is that check cards have the ability to be run through the credit card networks and may also access the debit networks at ATMs for withdrawing cash provided that the card features both signature and PIN network affliations.  A pure debit card (without the Visa or MasterCard logo) may only be used through the debit networks. This means a debit card will work fine at Automated Teller Machines for cash, but in order to be accepted at a merchant establishment, the merchant must have debit service agreements in place as well as encrypted PIN pad equipment hooked up to their point of sale system.  It is the secret PIN that cardholders must key into the system that proves their authorization of the sale.

Triple Data Encryption Standards
Triple DES or 3DES is the sanctioned algorithm standard used by all debit-capable transaction terminals for PIN encryption in the U.S. and is the latest advancement in security against fraud.  Visa has mandated that all devices be replaced and updated to comply with 3DES by July 1, 2010.  Point of Sale devices must be on the current approved list found at

Debit Pricing
Under new government regulations, regulated debit (both signature and PIN debit) rates are now set by the Federal Reserve and are priced the same.  Given this, your cost analysis for deciding which debit products to accept and favor may change from your previous analysis.  Contact a Vantage Payment Advisor for a complete study of acceptance at your business.

This map has not been updated to remain accurate but it does represent a historical image of the different regional and national PIN debit networks as they use to exist prior to industry consolidation. 

For more information, contact a Vantage Advisor for a comprehensive analysis of your merchant statement data.