A convenient, secure alternative to cash, Visa Prepaid cards are pre-loaded with funds that cardholders can spend anywhere Visa cards are accepted.
The cards offer many features familiar to users of Visa credit cards, the merchant’s return policy still applies, and transactions are handled in the same way. With Visa Prepaid, however, the purchase amount is automatically deducted from the remaining card balance after each transaction.
What is Partial Authorization?
Visa Partial Authorization lets you complete a Visa Prepaid card transaction even when the total sales amount exceeds the balance on the card.
Your customers can simply pay the balance using another form of payment.
How you benefit
Improve your customers’ experience: Your customers no longer need to know the balance on their card before making a purchase. They can simply use up their card funds and pay the balance using another form of payment.
Complete more sales: Fewer declines at checkout mean more completed sales – and a boost to your bottom line.
How it works
Easy as 1-2-3
Process the purchase like any other Visa card transaction.
If you notice a partial authorization in the system, obtain a second method of payment from the customer to cover the amount exceeding the card balance.
Complete the sale.
Contact your Acquirer/Payment Processor to learn how your business can benefit from Visa Prepaid cards and Visa Partial Authorization.
Find answers to your questions about Visa Prepaid cards.
Prepaid cards with no cardholder name are known as "non-personalized cards". This gives card issuers more options and flexibility when issuing new or replacement cards.
When accepting these cards, ensure that the cardholder has signed the signature panel on the back of the card and that it matches the signature on the sales receipt, just as you do with a Visa credit card.
Yes. Some Visa Prepaid cards are unembossed, meaning they are smooth and have no raised characters. Unembossed cards can only be used at an electronic terminal that can obtain immediate online authorization.
Cardholders must contact the financial institution that issued their Visa Prepaid card for their balance (toll-free numbers and websites are printed on the back of the cards). Currently, merchants cannot access the remaining balance at their terminals.
Yes. Visa Prepaid cards are intended for use anywhere Visa cards are accepted. It is possible, though, that some fraud protection software used by Internet merchants may decline a Visa Prepaid card purchase transaction.
Yes. It is recommended that the cardholder present the card to the station attendant instead of paying at the pump, to avoid a possible authorization decline.
Yes. Cardholders should be made aware that many restaurants and hotels factor in an automatic tip of up to 20% when authorizing card purchases. If the total amount, including tip, exceeds the card’s balance, the transaction will be declined. To avoid this situation, the cardholder can deduct a specific amount from the card and use another method of payment to cover the difference.
The transaction will be declined. The cardholder may ask to split the purchase between two forms of payment. This can be done, provided your store policy and transaction processes allow for split transactions. If so, the customer must decide how much to deduct from the Visa Prepaid card and what payment method he/she will use to cover the balance.
First, check the front of the card to see if it is past expiry. The expiry date is on the front of the card. If the card has not expired, ask the customer to verify with his/her card issuer that there are enough funds on the card. If sufficient funds are not available, ask the customer to cover the remaining balance with an alternate payment method (e.g., credit card, debit card or cash).
In this case, you have the option of manually key-entering the transaction into the terminal or asking the customer for another form of payment. If the transaction is manually key-entered, merchants assume the standard Visa “Card Not Present” liability risk for these transactions, since no card imprint is possible.
They may be used at any Visa merchant location worldwide that has an electronic terminal. Where no online-capable electronic terminal exists, or where an online authorization is not available (e.g., parking lot, movie kiosk), use of the Visa Prepaid card is not possible. If a merchant without an electronic terminal manually key-enters the transaction, the merchant runs the risk of receiving a "Missing Imprint" or "Card Not Present" chargeback.
It should be handled the same way other Visa cards are. No new acceptance software or hardware is required, unless you only have a manual imprint machine. Simply swipe the card through your electronic terminal as usual and, once the transaction is authorized, have the cardholder sign the printed receipt.
The cardholder should have the Visa Prepaid card he/she used to make the purchase, as well as the receipt, in order to return an item. Funds credited back to a customer’s Visa Prepaid card may take three to seven business days to process. If customers do not have their Visa Prepaid cards with them, refer to your store return policy.
You can void a purchase on a Visa Prepaid card as you would any other Visa transaction. If asked, be sure to inform the customer that it may take up to seven business days before funds become available on the card.
Tools & Downloads
More consumers than ever are using Visa Prepaid cards. To learn more about the benefits of Visa Prepaid – and Visa Partial Authorization, be sure to review these tools. They are designed for merchants to share with front-line staff for training purposes.
Download each tool below to learn more about Visa Partial Authorization