A bank card
is typically a plastic card issued by a bank to its clients that performs one or more of a number of services that relate to giving the client access to funds, either from the client's own bank account
, or through a credit account. It can also be a smart card
Physically, a bank card will usually have the client's name, the issuer's name, and a unique card number printed on it. It will have a magnetic strip on the back enabling various machines to read and access information. Depending on the issuing bank and the preferences of the client, this may allow the card to be used as an ATM card, enabling transactions at automatic teller machines; or as debit card
, linked to the client's bank account and able to be used for making purchases at the point of sale; or as a credit card attached to a revolving credit
line supplied by the bank.
The first bank cards were ATM cards issued by Barclays in London, in 1967, and by Chemical Bank in Long Island, New York, in 1969. In 1972, Lloyds Bank issued the first bank card to feature an information-encoding magnetic strip, using a personal identification number
(PIN) for security.
Historically, bank cards have also served the purpose of a cheque guarantee card, a now almost defunct system to guarantee cheques at point of sale.