DEFINITION of 'Warm Card'

A warm card is a type of ATM (automated teller machine) card that allows the bearer restricted access to a business account. Most frequently, a warm card allows the bearer to make deposits to the account, but not withdrawals.

BREAKING DOWN 'Warm Card'

The use of warm cards provides business owners with greater banking security. Employees who must make bank deposits can be given warm cards that allow them only the access needed to complete their duties. Employees are prevented from making withdrawals, limiting their ability to steal funds from the company.

Other forms of security businesses may take to ensure they are not subject to theft (especially online theft and banking fraud) can include using mutli-factor authentication and/or creating complex passwords to protect sensitive user data. Steps both online (cybersecurity measures) and physically (e.g. a warm card) are critical as financial theft becomes more widespread.

Warm Card, Debit Card, and Credit Card

While a warm card is often tied just to a business account and/or simply restricted to deposits, a debit card allows for both deposits and withdrawals, along with transfers for both individual (retail) and/or business checking and savings accounts. Consumers may make relatively small purchases with debit cards, in which funds immediately leave the user’s account.

A credit card gives the user an option to borrow funds. Credit card companies or other issuers charge interest on these loans. In contrast with debit cards and warm cards, credit cards are means of short-term financing. Issuers usually begin charging Interest one month following a purchase and create borrowing limits according to the individual's credit rating. Credit cards often bear the name and logo of the issuer, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. Some cards include special incentives that distinguish them, such as a particular rewards card that offers attractive incentives for consumers. Reward cards can give users airline miles, points toward hotel nights at specific chains, cash back on purchases, and more.

How a user spends borrowed funds with a credit card often impacts his credit worthiness in contrast with a user simply making deposits with a warm card. Taking into account factors, such as repayment history, credit score, assets and liabilities, lenders will determine a borrower’s credit score and figure out his probability of a default. The three most prominent credit reporting agencies are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Lenders pay these credit reporting agencies to evaluate potential and existing customers.

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