My First Debit Card Experience

In Kerala, my native, its not very common to use cards; instead of cash, infact only less than 5% of the population would be using it. My dad was never a fan of cards either. He always felt it would make us extravagant; “we keep swiping without an idea of how much money is being spent”,thats what he said. I was telling all these stories to make the point that I never had a credit/debit card of my own and never used it until I got to US,and here its only card or cheque business, not many seems to be using money. So here goes my first card experience.

I got my own card just a month back and I used it for the first time last week at JCPenneys when we went to Newyork. That was the first time I was going for shopping in US without Ratish. We had gone to Newyork for his office annual meeting and party. My friend,Sharanya, who was studying in Newyork had come to meet me, we went for a walk ;did some window shopping and finally got to the accessory’s section at JC Penney’s. I didn’t find much of these (earrings,rings,etc) in Utah, so I did a great shopping. Since I didn’t carry a lot of cash,I had to use my debit card.

I don’t know why, but, looking at the card machine , I could feel a lot of butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I was not sure how or where to swipe it.


I was searching for the slot, if it was on the side or on the top.

And then I saw a red light blinking , showing the direction of swipe. I swiped, entered my pin and submitted. They didn’t ask my signature. I was a bit confused. Then Sharanya swiped her card and signed.

I was terrified, I didn’t show it out though . I asked her calmly ,” how come I didn’t have to sign”, she said I don’t know, we will ask the cashier. But I was getting more and more nervous. I started attacking Sharanya with questions, “Was somethging wrong with the transaction? Will they be able to take more money than the actual amount? Could they have hacked my pin number?” I don’t know what was running through her mind then, but with an expression less face, she said, might be yours was a debit card, mine was credit,didn’t you enter your pin, I didn’t. Thoughtfully I nodded, that made sense to me, but; after a while. I hope my cashier didn’t hear my doubts, she would have thought I was crazy.
Sharanya’s answer couldn’t contain my dubious mind. I just wanted to get back to the hotel so that I could confirm it with Ratish. When I asked him, he thought for a while and said , ” may be”.

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