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V Pay is a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) debit card for use in Europe, issued by Visa Europe. It uses the EMV chip and PIN system and may be co-branded with various national debit card schemes such as the German Girocard or Italy's PagoBancomat.
The V Pay card system competes with MasterCard's Maestro debit card product. However, unlike Maestro, V Pay cards cannot be used in non-chip and non-PIN environments, limiting its acceptance to those countries and merchants that use this system. Also unlike Maestro, which is issued and accepted globally, V Pay is designed as a specifically European product, and is not issued or accepted outside European countries. However, some cards are co-branded with the Visa Electron system, which allows using them outside Europe.
V Pay cards began to be accepted at merchants in France and Greece in 2005, and acceptance has since expanded to more European countries. As of 2010, 14 million V Pay cards had been issued.
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