What is the Difference Between E-Cash & a Debit Card?

E-cash and debit cards are different.
E-cash and debit cards are different. (Image: atm image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com)

E-cash is a relatively new concept in the financial industry. E-cash is a payment means used mainly for payments on the Internet. Debit cards are similar to credit cards, except they are attached to a checking account.


E-cash is a type of payment means typically used for small purchases on websites. E-cash was originally created by an Amsterdam company, DigiCash, in the 1990s. It is often known as "digital coins" stored in an E-cash account holder's "wallet" on the Web. This wallet is also called a "smart card."

Debit Card

A debit card is a card used for purchases, which withdraws the money directly from the debit card holder’s checking account. It is similar to using a check, but the money is often instantly debited from your checking account. Debits cards are used for payments made on websites, in stores, restaurants, hotels and over the phone. They are accepted most places where credit cards are accepted. You can also use them to withdraw money from your checking account at ATM machines.


E-cash and debit cards are both used for making payments. E-cash works much like a debit card. Both require sufficient funds for purchases, either from the account holder's virtual wallet or checking account.

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