Visa Electron is a type of debit card which does not allow the user to become overdrawn. The card was introduced by Visa in 1985 and is a sister card to the Visa Debit card. The difference between Visa Electron and other debit cards such as Visa Debit or Visa Delta is that payments with an Electron card require that you must have sufficient funds in your account to cover the entire transaction. Visa Debit cards, on the other hand, typically allow transfers exceeding available funds up to a specified overdraft limit.
They were often issued as a debit card for young or new bank account holders, and for people not eligible for credit. This is because it was easier for inexperienced or poor budgeters to keep control of their spending. It was frequently issued to under 18s opening their first bank accounts as they could not go overdrawn or pay for things they could not afford.
It was also particularly popular a few years ago for avoiding swingeing transaction charges when paying for budget air flights. Using a debit card avoided these charges. At the time, advertising rules meant that budget airlines would accept one free payment method, allowing them to advertise cheap rates without having to include charges most customers had to pay.
However, advertising rules were changed to close this loophole, and the card has been gradually withdrawn from use, with very few banks continuing to offer the Electron card. At the time of writing, only the Halifax Bank still continues to issue Electron cards, with all the other major banking groups issuing some form of Visa Debit card. The Electron’s strict restrictions have been replaced by Visa Debit cards with special restrictions placed on them requiring all purchases to be specifically authorised.
In any case, both the Visa Electron and the new Visa Debit restricted replacements could face problems when making certain payments. Some online sites and all offline terminals (like on trains and aircraft) do not support these cards because their systems cannot check for the availability of funds. Payments will therefore be declined.
In practice, few users of online bingo sites tended to use Electron cards. Under 18s are not permitted to use online bingo sites, and the restrictions on their use made them an unattractive means of funding online bingo in any case.
It is unlikely that there are more than a handful of people who will still be using an Electron card to fund their online bingo payments, but many sites still feature them as an acceptable form of payment. This is more likely to be because of the operator’s slowness to update the site, or because it makes the list of options look more extensive. Few new players are likely to be looking for sites that accept this now outdated method of payment.
But whatever your debit card of choice, it will always be a convenient way to pay. Just register your personal details with your chosen site, then proceed to the “Banking” page, sometimes accessed via “Make a Payment” or “Deposit” links in the bingo lobby. And to find the best sites to play on, just check out Busy Bee’s comprehensive and impartial reviews.