Visa Debit

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Visa Debit
Product type Debit card
Owner Visa Inc.
Country United States
Related brands Visa Electron
Markets Worldwide
Tagline "Everywhere You Want To Be"

Visa Debit is a major brand of debit card issued by Visa in many countries around the world. Numerous banks and financial institutions issue Visa Debit cards to their customers for access to their bank accounts. In many countries the Visa Debit functionality is often incorporated on the same plastic card that allows access to ATM and any domestic EFTPOS networks.


In many countries the Visa Debit functionality has been added to existing ATM cards to allow customers to use the card for internet and point of sales transactions.


In Canada, virtually all domestic debit card transactions are processed over the Interac network, though several financial institutions have also permitted PIN-based ATM transactions internationally over the Visa-owned Plus network. However, Interac's dominance has left little room for alternative debit networks such as Visa or MasterCard to be used for domestic transactions.

Several Canadian financial institutions that primarily offer credit cards through the Visa network – namely CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD – currently offer Visa Debit, either through a dual-network co-branded card which also works on Interac (CIBC and TD),[1][2] or as a "virtual" card used alongside the customer's existing Interac debit card (RBC).[3] Both options ensure customers can perform point-of-sale transactions or ATM withdrawals as usual via Interac, but use the Visa network to process online, phone, and international transactions, none of which are well-supported by Interac. (The latter does have its own online payment service, Interac Online, which co-branded Visa cards are not eligible for, though that service has had relatively low retailer uptake.)

For the dual-network cards, in-person transactions within Canada are processed on the Interac network, but international transactions, as well as online and phone orders through Canadian retailers, are processed through the Visa network.[1][2] (However, Canadian retailers must specifically allow for Visa Debit transactions, even if they already accept Visa credit cards.)[4] "Virtual Visa Debit" works similarly; customers use their existing Interac debit cards for in-person transactions (and Interac Online) in Canada, but are also provided with a secondary "virtual" Visa card (i.e. card number, expiry, and CVV2) which can be used for online and phone transactions (but not point-of-sale, in Canada or internationally).[3]

Although Visa has in the past floated the prospect of competing directly with Interac in regards to point-of-sale transactions,[5] it does not appear to be pursuing that option at this time.


A Visa credit card issued by ING-DiBa. The logo and BIN (454617) identify this card as a credit card although it is linked to a checking account (Girokonto).

Germany's banking industry strongly favours its proprietary Girocard technology that can be co-branded with Maestro or V-Pay, but not with the more powerful Debit MasterCard or Visa Debit.

However, over the course of the last years, certain financial institutions such as Consorsbank and ING-DiBa have started issuing cards that are linked to a checking account but use the Visa protocols. These cards allow free cash withdrawals on ATMs owned by other banks; the issuing banks absorb the fees of the Visa network.


In Greece Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank offer Visa Debit cards to their customers as an option, having updated from the Visa Electron cards that they used to offer.[6][7]


Many Irish banks, such as Permanent TSB, are now issuing Visa Debit cards to their current account customers as the domestic Laser scheme, usually co-badged with Maestro, was abandoned in the early 2010s.


In Italy the first Visa Debit branded card was issued by Fineco as their default option for debit cards, starting from 2016. All new customers cards (and cards due to renewal) will be replaced by a Visa Debit card co-branded with the national Bancomat network.


In the Philippines, major banks like BDO, Unionbank, Landbank, Eastwest, and RCBC are the major issuers of Visa Debit.[8][9][10][11][12]

The only major competitor of Visa Debit is the Debit MasterCard.

United Kingdom[edit]

Visa Debit was formerly called Visa Delta solely in the United Kingdom.

The first debit card in the United Kingdom was launched by Barclays in June 1987 under the "Connect" brand. NatWest followed with the "Switch" debit card in October 1988. Connect was later merged into Visa.[13]

The Visa Debit card was previously known as "Visa Delta" solely in the UK.[14] The Delta name began to be phased out in favour of the Visa Debit branding from September 1998.[15]

United States[edit]

Numerous banks issue Visa-branded debit cards linked to accounts. Some issuing banks call their cards "Visa check cards",[16] Cards allow for purchases at any merchant where any type of Visa card is accepted. Transactions are processed one of three ways. A signed transaction is processed through the regular Visa credit network.[16] PIN-based transactions, including ATM withdrawals, are processed through the Visa-owned Plus and Interlink networks.[16] Many retailers allow cash back with PIN-based transactions. Also, in line with other credit and debit purchases, transactions under $25 are exempt from requiring signatures or PINs.[16]

Market competition[edit]

The competitors to Visa Debit in the debit card market are Maestro and Debit MasterCard debit cards, as well as Visa's V-Pay cards in Europe.