Visa Electron

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Visa Electron
Visa Electron.svg
The Visa Electron logo since 2015
Visa Electron.PNG
Swedish Visa Electron card
Product typeDebit card
OwnerVisa Inc.
Introduced1985; 37 years ago (1985)
Related brandsVisa Debit
Tagline"Always on"

Visa Electron is a debit card product that uses the Visa payment system. It is offered by issuing banks in every country with the exception of Canada, Australia, Argentina, Ireland and the United States.[1] The difference between Visa Electron and Visa Debit, a similar product, is that payments with Visa Electron require that all the funds be available at the time of transfer, i.e., Visa Electron card accounts may not normally be overdrawn. Visa Debit cards, on the other hand, typically allow transfers exceeding available funds up to a certain limit. For that reason, Visa Electron cards are more commonly issued to younger customers or customers that have poor credit.[2][3] Some online stores and all offline terminals do not support Visa Electron because their systems cannot check for the availability of funds. In addition to point of sale debit payments, the card also allows the holder to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) using the Plus interbank network.

In 2001, Banque Misr began offering the cards.[4]

Many banks have migrated away from Visa Electron and instead issue Visa Debit cards; as such, Visa Electron issuance is declining.[5][6][7]


A Visa Electron logo, usually on the bottom right. Most Visa Electron cards do not have the dove hologram as on Visa credit and debit cards, but a few banks do include it.

The card number and validity as well as cardholder name are printed rather than embossed, thus the card cannot be used in a card imprinter – for card-present transactions the card requires a reader of magnetic stripe cards, EMV reader or contactless payment terminal.


  1. ^ "Payment methods per country" (PDF). Computop.
  2. ^ "Visa Electron Card: The ideal card to manage your budget, with no risk of exceeding your balance". HSBC.
  3. ^ Leonard, Tim (12 March 2018). "Cash cards and debit cards explained". MoneyFacts.
  4. ^ "Misr Bank Steps to issue Visa Electron debit card". Al Bawaba. 3 October 2001.
  5. ^ Howard, Bob (15 May 2004). "Visa Electron cards to be phased out". BBC News.
  6. ^ "Maestro, Electron give way to MasterCard, Visa in Europe". ATM Marketplace. 10 November 2017.
  7. ^ ROLFE, ALEX (10 November 2017). "Card issuers upgrade from Maestro and Electron to Mastercard and Visa". Payments Cards & Mobile.