Banco de Cabo Verde
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In Cape Verde, credit cards are issued by Sociedade Interbancária e Sistemas de Pagamento – SISP (Interbank Company and Payment Systems), a non-bank institution whose members are the State, Banco de Cabo Verde, commercial banks and Cabo Verde Telecom Sarl. SISP is responsible for managing activities related to the development and use of means of payment and payment instruments, particularly the issue, management and control of credit cards.

Credit cards are regulated by Decree-Law No. 66/99, of November 2, which regulates the activity of credit institutions and non-bank institutions regarding the issue and management of credit cards and the signing of agreements related to them, and by Notice No. 2/2000, which stipulates the contract terms.

Credit cards – defined as all cards issued by entities that have legal authority to do so and, in accordance with contracts entered into for this purpose, to allow for payments of goods and services and, cumulatively or not, to grant many benefits to their holders –essentially come in two kinds:

• Bank cards (debit or credit);
• Merchant cards.

Debit cards
In Cape Verde the debit cards that are issued are intended preferentially to withdraw cash using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or to purchase goods or services through Points of Sale (POS), in the system known as “Rede Vinti4” ("Vinti4 Network").

What is a debit card?
It is a document, in the form of a plastic card, for use in automatic machines and that gives its holder the possibility to use the balance of his/her bank account to make payments, withdraw money, and to buy goods or services at commercial establishments.

What are the advantages of its use?
Having a “bank at one’s disposal” 24 hours a day.

And the disadvantages?
The disadvantages basically involve situations where machines are unavailable, either due to system malfunction or communication difficulties, or because they run out of money, as sometimes happens during long weekends.     

Where and how can one get a debit card?
A debit card can be obtained by means of a written contract, which may take the form of a membership agreement, with a credit institution where one already has a deposit account. 

What is a membership agreement?
It is a contractual text that is drafted in advance according to rules imposed by law which people agree to accept. It should contain all the rules that regulate relations between the issuer and the cardholder, as well as the general conditions of use.

After signing a membership agreement, can one withdraw?
Yes, because it is one of the cardholder’s rights. According to the law, there must be a period of reflection during which the cardholder can withdraw from the agreement without paying anything.

In case of loss, theft or forgery, what should one do?
The cardholder is obliged to take all appropriate measures to safeguard the security of the card, so as not to allow its use by third parties, and must notify the issuer as soon as he/she becomes aware of such facts. Thus, he/she cannot be held responsible in case of electronic use of the card, after notification, unless the fact is due to willful misconduct or gross negligence on the cardholder’s part.

What if the card is used prior to the notification?
In this case, the cardholder’s responsibility may not exceed a given amount indicated in the agreement, except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence.