A visa debit card is basically a plastic credit card, which is used in place of cash when making online purchases. It is like a debit card, but unlike most debit cards, the money deducted from the cardholder's account is directly transferred to his or her bank account almost immediately. The account holder is not legally responsible for the amount withdrawn from his or her card. This can also be considered as a type of ATM card, since like an ATM card, it can only be used for making purchases in store.
In many places around the world today, especially in developing countries, prepaid visa and master card systems are in use. These may be called visa debit cards. They are very similar to the ordinary Visa and MasterCard that are widely used globally. However, with this type of payment card, all the account holder needs to have is a valid passport or visa which serves as a proof of identity.
Unlike regular Visa and MasterCard, visa debit cards do not require a checking account in order to be used. Another interesting feature of this type of payment card is that all purchases made using it are fully authorized by the financial institution offering the card. Transactions made without authorization will be returned immediately. This eliminates the need for a financial institution as well as any type of third party to act as a mediator between the buyer and seller.
Since these cards are issued by financial institutions, they are subject to the rules and regulations of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The PCI DSS is a worldwide organization which sets rules and guidelines for card processing networks. Violations of these guidelines can result in fines or other actions.
Aside from requiring no Visa or MasterCard for transactions, they also require certain additional security features. One such security feature is known as 'PIN' code. A PIN is a ten digit number that a user can input to stop a transaction when he/she is unable to provide a specified credit card number. These cards are usually linked to a checking account, which enables users to easily track their transactions. They are much more convenient than traditional credit cards and don't require a second signature, which can be risky with cash payments.
Cards issued by a foreign bank can also be purchased through a payment processing network, which offers many services. Such providers include Maestro, Starwood Preferred Retail, American Express, Discover and JCB. When purchased at a participating retailer, a Visa debit card can be converted into an active Visa card. These cards can then be used to make purchases at establishments located in the United States and United Kingdom. ATM machines may also accept cards from these networks.
This card does not provide any kind of credit history to the user and has a maximum spending limit of $1000. Thus, it works best as a gift card or a travel companion. These kinds of transactions can only take place if the designated bank on file already has the credit card number of the recipient. Otherwise, the transactions will be declined.
The biggest advantage of this type of prepaid card transactions is that users do not need to rely on the financial institution for their ATM or debit card purchases. Such purchases can only be made at establishments where the designated bank is partnered with a participating financial institution. This allows the individual to avoid the risk of having his/her purchases declined.
Visa debit cards can be used at more locations than credit cards. This means that there are more outlets where the card can be used. The convenience of being able to make purchases anywhere it is allowed is the biggest advantage of this type of card.
With the global crisis, it is possible that fraudsters will try to use visa debit cards to make purchases. In order to minimize such incidents, only use the card at authorized establishments. Do not give out sensitive information to someone who does not have a visa. Also, it would be wise to close your bank account when making purchases. Preventing any unauthorized transaction is one way of protecting yourself from fraud.
There are also disadvantages of using Visa debit cards. People residing in certain countries may not be able to use these cards. Also, transactions made with this card may not be eligible for some programs conducted by the government. There are other options available like a checking account, which may have better features.