- Visa Electron
Visa Electron is a debit or
credit cardavailable across most of the world, with the exception of Canada, Australia, and the United States. The card was introduced by VISA in the 1980s and is a sister card to the Visa Debitcard. The difference between Visa Electron and Visa Debit is that payments with Visa Electron require that all the funds be available at the time of the transfer, i.e. Visa Electron card accounts cannot be overdrawn. As a comparison, Visa Debit cards allow transfers of unavailable funds below a certain limit. As a result, some online stores and all offline terminals (e.g. onboard trains or planes) do not support Visa Electron because their systems cannot check for the availability of funds.
In different regions, the card is issued with different specifications. For example, one bank may issue it as a
debit card, while another may issue it as a credit card. It is most commonly issued as a debit card. In this case applying for a credit card requires the applicant to present some proof of regular income (such as an employment certificate) or financial assets invested elsewhere.
In addition to debit facilities, the card also allows the holder to withdraw cash from ATMs even outside the holder's country of residence unlike normal ATM cards issued in some countries. This is because Visa Electron cards are also linked to the
PLUS interbank network.
United Kingdom, the card is not as widely accepted as the brother Visa Debitcard, but is often issued by banks as a debit card for children's accounts. In some countries, like Australia, retailers are required to accept the card as part of VISA's "Accept All Cards" Policy, which also applies to the normal Visa Debit card, although the card is not available locally.Fact|date=May 2007
In countries that have stricter criteria for issuing credit cards, Visa Electron has become popular with younger people and students alike. As each transaction requires funds to be checked, there is no chance of accounts going overdrawn. Therefore banks will issue a Visa Electron card to customers who may not qualify for another type of card.
As Visa Electron cards lack embossed details, they cannot be used with older card "imprinters" that transfer payment information to a paper slip.
Special Visa Electron logo (normally on the bottom right) and the words "DEBIT CARD" (for debit cards - normally on the top right) VISA Electron cards should not normally have the dove hologram shown on VISA and VISA Debit cards; however one or two banks do include this feature. The numbers on the card are embedded rather than raised meaning the card can be used only electronically. The card cannot be imprinted and for card-present transactions can only be accepted through a
magnetic stripe readeror a PIN entry device.
As of mid 2006, VISA are now removing their trademark "flag" logo from all their cards, websites and retailer's windows. It will be the first time that VISA have removed this logo since the company was founded.
For all Electron cards, the new logo will be a simple white background with the name VISA in blue with an orange flick on the . This will be immediately followed by the word "Electron". Electron will continue to be flat (numbers not raised), but more recently, retailers allow for the card number to be keyed in - even though an imprint cannot be taken and it leaves them at risk.
For the new
VISAand Visa Debitlogo, see the relevant pages.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/moneybox/3717331.stm BBC article on Halifax switch to Electron]
* [http://corporate.visa.com/md/fs/consumer/visadebit.jsp Visa Electron Fact Sheet]
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