Electron/Debit Cards

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WillPS

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Just to throw another cup of water over the fire of Visa Debit validity on-board - Halifax (the last remaining Electron issuer) have now started replacing Electron cards with Debit cards.

My girlfriend received a replacement card 2 years ahead of expiry today with a note saying that the existing card will expire ahead of its stated validity. The new card has raised details and no "ELECTRONIC USE ONLY" or similar, but the letter accompanying the new card states in a small note:
You need to make sure you've enough money in your account so everything will go through automatically. If there isn't enough, you shouldn't be able to buy the item or withdraw cash. Your new card is designed to make sure you can't spend money you don't have.
So I take from this it will not function on board - however nothing on card states this, so that makes at least 3 banks issuing Visa Debit cards which ATOC et al. refuse to make amends to authorise.
 
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island

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Sounds like it.

This will be interesting for the airlines etc. that give exemptions to surcharges for Visa Electron cards as Halifax was the last UK mainstream bank to issue them.
 

GadgetMan

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Just to throw another cup of water over the fire of Visa Debit validity on-board - Halifax (the last remaining Electron issuer) have now started replacing Electron cards with Debit cards.

My girlfriend received a replacement card 2 years ahead of expiry today with a note saying that the existing card will expire ahead of its stated validity. The new card has raised details and no "ELECTRONIC USE ONLY" or similar, but the letter accompanying the new card states in a small note:


So I take from this it will not function on board - however nothing on card states this, so that makes at least 3 banks issuing Visa Debit cards which ATOC et al. refuse to make amends to authorise.
Depends on the TOC. If there is nothing on the card to say electronic use only and it gets declined (which it will), then we can ring an automated Merchant services number and get authorisation over the phone to override Avantix.
 

Zoe

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Depends on the TOC. If there is nothing on the card to say electronic use only and it gets declined (which it will), then we can ring an automated Merchant services number and get authorisation over the phone to override Avantix.
But you can't do this with a card marked electronic use only?
 

headshot119

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Is that a rail only policy? There's nothing in the document where I work to say I can't get voice authorization for a Visa Electron.
 

island

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Is that a rail only policy? There's nothing in the document where I work to say I can't get voice authorization for a Visa Electron.
Well, the railways don't accept Visa Electron at all for the most part.

I used to work at a major retail bank and our internal procedure guides said that Visa Electron cards could not be phone-authorized. If that's wrong, then it's wrong.
 

wintonian

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Sounds like it.

This will be interesting for the airlines etc. that give exemptions to surcharges for Visa Electron cards as Halifax was the last UK mainstream bank to issue them.
They’ll just do what Easyjet have done and charge you an admin fee regardless of what debit card you use.
 

island

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Well, the railways don't accept Visa Electron at all for the most part.

I used to work at a major retail bank and our internal procedure guides said that Visa Electron cards could not be phone-authorized. If that's wrong, then it's wrong.
Page 4 of this also agrees with me.
 

Zoe

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Which is why I put the above.
You said if the card is not marked electronic use only then you can phone for authorization. I was asking if it was not possible to do this with a card marked electronic use only as I don't see why this should not be allowed.
 
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GadgetMan

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You said if the card is not marked electronic use only then you can phone for authorization. I was asking if it was not possible to do this with a card marked electronic use only as I don't see why this should not be allowed.
Sorry, misunderstood your post.

No idea as to the technical reason. It's company policy not to accept these cards onboard our trains.
 

headshot119

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The Visa Electron card works like any other Visa card. Procedures at the point-ofsale
(POS) do not change with one exception. The Visa Electron card must always be
authorized through a POS terminal.
That does not exclude the use of phone authorisation. Most POST terminals allow you to manually enter the authorisation code you obtain over the phone.
 

lyesbkz

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I understand that 'Electronic Use Only' simply means that since the digits aren't raised, the card cannot be used in one of the old-fashioned card imprinters. As far as I'm aware it doesn't affect any authorisation methods and a telephone authorisation should still be possible.

Feel free to correct me if experienced!


For what it's worth, the MasterCard website tells merchants not to process unembossed 'ELECTRONIC USE ONLY' cards in any way other than through the electronic POS terminal.
 

island

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That does not exclude the use of phone authorisation. Most POST terminals allow you to manually enter the authorisation code you obtain over the phone.
It does to me. "Must be authorized through a POS terminal" to me implies "must not be authorized by a method other than a POS terminal, such as over the phone".
 

headshot119

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It does to me. "Must be authorized through a POS terminal" to me implies "must not be authorized by a method other than a POS terminal, such as over the phone".
But by swiping the card in the POS terminal and then manually entering the authorisation number you are running it through the POS terminal.
 

headshot119

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Running: yes. Authorizing: no.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.
Has the card been swiped through the POS : Yes
Do you have proof the card was present : Yes
Has BMS given you authorisation for the card : Yes
Have you manually inputted the authorisation number into the POS : Yes


What's the issue?
 

island

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Has the card been swiped through the POS : Yes
Do you have proof the card was present : Yes
Has BMS given you authorisation for the card : Yes
Have you manually inputted the authorisation number into the POS : Yes


What's the issue?
Have you authorized the card through the POS machine? This is not a separable statement.
 

island

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Yes by swiping the card and manually entering the authorisation number.
Can't say I agree that "manually entering an authorization number" is equivalent to "authorizing". You've "authorized" it over the phone and "processed" it through the POS.
 

headshot119

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Can't say I agree that "manually entering an authorization number" is equivalent to "authorizing". You've "authorized" it over the phone and "processed" it through the POS.
So by this logic then the instant you become suspicious of someone with a Visa Electron card, and you ring in Code 10, they still can't purchase. As when BMS give you the authorisation number you can't do anything with it.
 

island

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So by this logic then the instant you become suspicious of someone with a Visa Electron card, and you ring in Code 10, they still can't purchase. As when BMS give you the authorisation number you can't do anything with it.
Good question. I expect the Code 10 call would either give you a "pick up card" or "proceed" but no authorization response.
 

Robbies

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Unless electronic authorisation demands a "Call for authorisation".
If by Visa Electron cards, you mean Visa debit cards then mine which I have had for the last three years nearly must be unique as it has been accepted both by voice and also by any Train Ticket websites.
 

Zoe

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If by Visa Electron cards, you mean Visa debit cards then mine which I have had for the last three years nearly must be unique as it has been accepted both by voice and also by any Train Ticket websites.
No, Visa Electron is not the same card as Visa Debit.
 

dave87016

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I have a HSBC Visa Debit, I use it at shops, and to purchase tickets online and onboard trains, usually my card works fine, sometimes I board on the first train ( ticket office shut and machine Out Of Order) so when purchasing onboard a train sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt and when it doesnt I go to the ticket office where I alight and it works fine
 

Robbies

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No, Visa Electron is not the same card as Visa Debit.
Okay, I thought it might be different. Like dave87010, my card is from HSBC and has only failed me when I have put in the pin number incorrectly for it more than once.
 
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