Visa card

Visa, or more precisely the Visa card, is one of the world’s most important cash and credit cards alongside MasterCard. Visa is an abbreviation and stands for Visa International Service Association. Visa credit cards are accepted worldwide. While the Visa card is the worldwide market leader among cash card providers with a 40 percent market share, in Germany it has to give up market leadership to MasterCard. However, with a market share of 35 percent, it is also one of the most important payment methods in this country. In this article, we want to highlight the advantages, the way it works, the products and the difference to MasterCard.

What is the difference between Visa card and MasterCard?

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Mastercard or Visa Card? Many bank customers are faced with this question. VISA does not issue the card directly to its customers. Instead, it issues so-called issuing licenses’ to banks and savings banks – over 2,500 in Germany alone. However, there is a recognisable difference between Visa and Mastercard only in the choice of products and the prices of the issuing banks and savings banks, but not in the way they work.

In both cases, fees are charged for processing the credit card payment, with the risk of unpaid card debts borne by the banking institutions. Typically, a Visa card is offered in conjunction with a current account, with either a monthly or annual fee. Visa currently offers the following products:

  • Classic: The classic credit card can be used at more than 46 million acceptance points worldwide and is often issued together with a current account without an additional annual fee.
  • Gold: Visa Gold is characterised by a higher credit limit and includes additional benefits such as travel abroad, luggage and legal protection insurance.
  • Platinum: It is particularly suitable for customers with high expenses. For example, frequent travelers can pay abroad in foreign currency free of charge in some cases. Depending on the card-issuing bank, other benefits such as bonus and discount programs may also be included.
  • Infinite: The most exclusive format among Visa cards is issued exclusively by invitation. It includes comprehensive travel insurance for the whole family, a 24/7 concierge service, as well as access to airport lounges, exclusive events and much more.
  • Business: Particularly suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises to better separate professional from private expenses.
  • Corporate: Particularly suitable for large companies to enable cost savings by streamlining internal workflows.

Visa: Payment solutions

Visa also is distinguished between debit and credit cards. Specifically, Visa offers the following payment solutions to its bank clients:

  • Debit: Many people also know them as bank cards. Here, the customer is not granted credit, but the current account is debited directly.
  • Charge: Here, the money is not debited directly from the current account, but in one sum at the end of a billing month. Basically, this is the most widespread credit card solution.
  • Partial payment: Particularly practical for larger purchases is the option of paying by instalments. This way, the monthly credit card statement can be converted into an instalment payment
  • Prepaid: The Visa prepaid card works on a credit basis. You can only spend as much money as you have previously loaded onto the card.

What advantages does the Visa card offer its customers and partner companies?

 The Visa card offers its customers a number of advantages. These are in detail:

  • Simple and convenient cashless payment option within the credit limit
  • Higher credit limit than with the overdraft facility of a current account
  • Visa credit card accepted in more than 200 countries worldwide
  • Secure payment, both online and in shops – the risk of default is always assumed by the card-issuing credit institution
  • Spending can be tracked both online and in writing via the Visa card statement
  • Depending on the card format, customers benefit from discounts and rewards through loyalty programs, as well as other insurance benefits
  • Protection against loss, theft and fraud is included
  • Cash payments are possible
  • Customers using the prepaid format are protected from overdrawing their account
  • Fast and authorisation-free payment for amounts under 50 euros in Europe (e.g. via Apple Pay or Paypass).

What does the Visa card mean for the Subscription Economy?

Visa or MasterCard? Companies in the subscription economy do not have to ask themselves this question. Online and subscription companies cannot avoid both cards. Together, they offer the two most important credit cards in the world. Just like the MasterCard, the Visa card is highly trusted and should therefore be included in the portfolio of payment methods. Here, too, the subscription business provider is taken care of: because when working with an external Payment Service Provider (PSP), payment with the major credit card providers is already provided for.

Visa card and MasterCard are equally part of the payment portfolio

Payment by credit card is the future. But there are regional differences in credit card usage to consider. Due to the rather slow development in terms of acceptance among the population in Germany, a great deal of growth can still be expected there. Technological development is doing the rest. Thanks to simple payment options, it is already possible to pay at many acceptance points using NFC technology (Paypass etc.) with a card, smartphone or smartwatch without a PIN number.

With a payment gateway like Billwerk+ Payments, many different kinds off payment methods are available; e.g. credit cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers. And a general acceptance of the credit card can, as expected, also have an effect on the entire purchasing behavior, i.e. also in the subscription area. In the Nordic countries payment by credit cards and mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Mobile Pay, are among the preferred payment methods for retail, e-commerce and subscription payments.