Electron Cards online

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Mojo

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As I'm sure most of you know - you can't use Solo or Visa Electron debit cards to buy train tickets at most (if not all) stations, or online - annoyingly, these cards are the only ones banks give out to under 18s without any difficulty.

Tonight I was hoping to book some tickets using the [email protected] trial on theTrainline - but one of the Terms & Conditions requires that the main passenger is also the cardholder - ruling out using my parents' card.

So I tried putting my Visa Electron through as a Visa Debit - and it worked - ticket printed & money deducted. I've no idea if this works on the "regular" booking system - but it's worth a try - but it worked for me on [email protected] - so if there's anyone who doesn't have a "big" debit card and was thinking of using [email protected], but realised you can't because the card is in your parents name - and you have a Visa Electron, try it out!
 
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paul1609

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This may be true in terms of on line transactions where the transaction is always authorised but it is not true for many "cardholder present transactions". In this instance many ordainary visa debit transactions are not authorised on line when the purchase is below the retailers floor limit wheras visa electron transactions are always authorised. That is basically why some retailers dont accept visa electron,
 

Mojo

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I dont know of any shop that doesn't accept Electron/Solo that does take the others.
The reason that railway doesn't take it is because, originally, APTIS did offline card processing, and the new machines that can do it online, TOCs chose not to because, should a ticket office not be avaliable, people may try & pay with Electron/Solo on the train - which, obviously is offline. I wonder if 1 day every train will be wired up via some system that connects to WiFi or something - but TBH there's no excuse for tTl not to take it.
 

compsci

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The need for all Solo/Electron cards to be authorised with the bank is ultimately that the people the banks give them to aren't allowed to go overdrawn for any reason. Either its not legal in the case of someone under 18, the bank doesn't want them to if the customer hasn't got a good rating or the customer doesn't want to (especially the case with Islamic finance).

One of the many changes with chip and pin which most people didn't notice is that individual cards can have different floor limits. My new card seems to be significantly quicker than my old student one, especially for low risk transactions such as the supermarket. Ultimately solo/electron could become the same as the big cards, but with their floor limit configured to zero, but only if the legacy swipe and number entry are no longer accepted (which is probably never).
 

paul1609

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I dont know of any shop that doesn't accept Electron/Solo that does take the others.
The reason that railway doesn't take it is because, originally, APTIS did offline card processing, and the new machines that can do it online, TOCs chose not to because, should a ticket office not be avaliable, people may try & pay with Electron/Solo on the train - which, obviously is offline. I wonder if 1 day every train will be wired up via some system that connects to WiFi or something - but TBH there's no excuse for tTl not to take it.

Most Shell Petrol stations and their shops dont accept electron cards in my area.
 

Tom C

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APTIS didn't authorise any transactions on credit cards, the card went through the reader and you put a credit sale voucher into the machine and that was that. The only time APTIS asked for an authorisation number was for transactions over the station floor limit (£90 IIRC)

Southern and Thameslink stations used to have PDQ machines which would do the authorising for you and at most stations you would swipe the card though for any amount to try and stop the "hot" cards because it made the clerk £50 if they managed to stop one.

SPORTIS would also accept Solo and Electron through the reader and print off a sales slip, it was down to common sense to stop any of these cards getting through the system.

Advantix and modern ticket office TIS now warn you that you cannot accept Solo, Electron and Diners and won't let the transaction go through and the chip and pin units just won't recognise them.
 

metrocammel

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I dont know of any shop that doesn't accept Electron/Solo that does take the others.
The reason that railway doesn't take it is because, originally, APTIS did offline card processing, and the new machines that can do it online, TOCs chose not to because, should a ticket office not be avaliable, people may try & pay with Electron/Solo on the train - which, obviously is offline. I wonder if 1 day every train will be wired up via some system that connects to WiFi or something - but TBH there's no excuse for tTl not to take it.

With Chiltern (I dont know if any other TOC's did the same) they used separate credit card machines (with chip & pin) for transaction on the APTIS. It now seems a major setback that TO's with APTIS that once accepted Solo/V.E (eg Birmingham Moor St) now have a so-called fancy new TIS, but also have a sign up saying "We regret we cannot accept Visa Electron/ Solo anymore", this seems like a step-back (with most TOC's, eg Northern, I can understand the APTIS replacement, as they had no ancillary Chip & Pin capability, wheras the way Chiltern operated it, the passengers were at an advantage (in that there was a greater choice of cards that could be used) with the APTIS').
 

Tom C

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We used to have PDQ machines which had the capability of authorising any cards but if you put a Solo or Electron card through it would not let it go through yet APTIS would allow you to print a credit card slip using Electron or Solo cards.

One of the main reasons SPORTIS was retired was because of chip and pin. When Thameslink were still using SPORTIS we were warned that if any cards were "hot" or the passenger had no funds the company would not be covered so First replaced them about 4 weeks after they walked in the door.

Chiltern used a system simular to the ones you get in the corner shops which was totally independant to the APTIS and Chiltern must have thought it was easier to bite the bullet and replace the APTIS with the latest TIS which of course have no facility to use Solo or Electron.
 
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