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A small number of websites prevent customers from checking out using a prepaid card.

  1. How do websites manage this when there are so many prepaid cards out there?

  2. Are there any prepaid cards known for making it through such a ban?

Many people would rather shady companies not have access to their real cards and bank accounts, but a few possibly-a-scam sites are blocking checkout with prepaid cards.

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  • 8
    These bans tend to be due to shady customers.
    – ceejayoz
    May 13 at 1:25
  • 8
    There's a huge black market in stolen prepaid cards, so I don't blame merchants for refusing them. Some major companies (like AT&T) won't accept them as payment for accounts. I own an authorized AT&T dealership and can't sign up new customers who want to use prepaid cards.
    – RiverNet
    May 13 at 2:36
  • 2
    @SRiverNet-reinstatemonica Which is highly ironic, since AT&T loves handing out rebates via prepaid card
    – Machavity
    May 13 at 13:01
  • 2
    In general websites should be using a third-party merchant for payment processing. It would be up to the third-party merchant to figure out a mechanism for performing this block. The only thing the website has to do is supply a yay/nay flag for accepting pre-paid cards.
    – MonkeyZeus
    May 13 at 14:18
  • @machavity, that is SO true!!! (rofl)
    – RiverNet
    May 13 at 14:49
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The first six digits of a Visa or MasterCard card comprise the Bank Identification Number (BIN) and card type (Visa, M/C, etc), which identifies the issuer, the next 9 digits (when a Visa or M/C) are the issuer-assigned account number unique to the card, and the last digit is a checksum. Having the BIN makes it simple to know if the issuer is one that issues prepaid cards, hence they can be blocked. For example, if a BIN identifies as belonging to NetSpend (a major issuer of prepaid cards) then it's a good bet the card is prepaid and the merchant can refuse it. If a card makes it past the filters based on the BIN then it is only because the database used is missing that particular issuer's info, and that will happen from time to time like anything else. To understand more on how this works, go to the bin codes website.

5
  • 1
    Actually, the first digit indicates Visa, Mastercard etc. May 13 at 3:20
  • 3
    You're right, and the first 6 digits together are the bank Identification number. A first digit of 4 is for Visa, 5 is MasterCard.
    – RiverNet
    May 13 at 3:38
  • @Harper, check out www.bincodes.com.
    – RiverNet
    May 13 at 3:47
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    But suppose you have an issuer that does both regular and prepaid cards?
    – jamesqf
    May 13 at 16:47
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    Banks can have multiple BIN codes to distinguish between products such as prepaid, credit, and debit cards.
    – RiverNet
    May 13 at 18:13

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