I have a visa electron debit card and there is "electronic use only" marked on it, so I don't know where or when I can't use my debit card ?

1 Answer 1


"electronic use only" cards can only be used by vendors that can instantly verify and authorize the purchase, which is most vendors these days, but there will be some exceptions:

  • vendors that use old "batch" style processing
  • vendors that "copy" the embossed numbers using carbon slips (very rare now)
  • offline purchases (e.g. on a plane)

The problem is you won't know beforehand if the vendor uses instant authorization or not, so be prepared with an alternate form of payment if the vendor does not accept your card.

  • 5
    @AyoubM: you may also have problems with some syetms which are online, but specifically refuse electronic use only debit cards. An example is the toll system in France.
    – WoJ
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 7:05
  • @WoJ: I know now that i can't use my card in planes and toll systems in France, do you have any other examples ?
    – AyoubM
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 8:37
  • When I was based in the US on secondment, I was using a Travelex Supercard and Revolut card. Both worked fine in ATMs, shop & bar card machines etc, but struggled with almost all Gas pumps (except at around 70% of Krugers...), some small restaurants (presumably using very old card machines), and the majority of card accepting vending machines.
    – ajfstuart
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 12:42
  • AFAIK, "Batch" processing still does an instant card verification and available balance check when the card is swiped. This is used at (for example) restaurants, where, because of tipping, the final charges are not known (only the minimum charge is known) at the time the card is swiped. "Batch" processing that I'm thinking of is where all the transactions, including any alterations, are processed and "finalized" at the end of the day. Unless you mean "Batch" in another way. Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 17:27
  • 1
    @KevinFegan My thinking was the old-school "store the data in the reader and send them all at the end of the day". Newer machines may instantly authorize but allow price adjustments after the fact, but I don't know that for a fact.
    – D Stanley
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 19:47

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