Merchant Resources

Products & Services

Visa Prepaid Cards

A Visa Prepaid card can be used by cardholders for payment anywhere Visa cards are accepted. The quick details:

  • Transactions with Visa Prepaid cards are handled in the same fashion as Visa credit cards.
  • Visa Prepaid cards have many features familiar to users of Visa credit cards.
  • Cardholders need to know their card balance prior to making a purchase.
  • The purchase amount is automatically deducted from the remaining card balance after each transaction.
  • A merchant’s return policy still applies to items purchased with a Visa Prepaid card.

Accepting the Visa Prepaid card

First, ask the customer how much to deduct from his/her Visa Prepaid card. Then follow the same procedures as you do with a Visa credit card – swipe the card and obtain an online authorization. Ask the cardholder to sign the purchase receipt – a signature that should match that on the back of the card. If the card has not been signed, have the cardholder sign it. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to know his/her balance. If the value of the purchase exceeds the Visa Prepaid card balance, the transaction will be declined.

What to Look for

prepaid front prepaid back
For more information, download Visa® Prepaid Cards. How to recognize, accept and process them.

Key Elements

Electronic Use Only

This phrase indicates that the card must be swiped and authorized through an electronic terminal because it is “unembossed” (there are no raised letters or digits on the card). On these cards, the name (or general message), card number and expiry date are thermal-printed.

Unembossed cards cannot be used with manual imprint machines.

Card Balance

The cardholder needs to know the card's balance, which he/she can check anytime online or by phone, before use. Customers should refer to the back of their card for the contact information of the financial institution that issued their card.

Split Transactions

If the purchase amount exceeds the Visa Prepaid card’s remaining value, the cardholder may ask to split the transaction 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.


The Visa Prepaid card used to make the purchase, as well as the transaction receipt, should be present when a customer returns an item. Funds credited back to the card may take three to seven business days to process. If the customer does not have his/her Visa Prepaid card or if the Prepaid card has expired, refer to your store return policy.

Voiding Transactions

You can void a purchase on a Visa Prepaid card as you would any other Visa card transaction. You may inform the customer that the credit refund may take three to seven business days before it will be available on the card.