There was a time when prepaid cards were viewed with skepticism by merchants. The prevailing opinion in the past was that someone who used prepaid cards was a bad credit risk.
Online merchants have started to accept this type of card because they realize shopping online carries some risk of having your identity compromised. Prepaid cards can eliminate that risk and limit any liability that might occur.
Most prepaid plastics today carry a well known and easily recognized Visa or MasterCard logo. With standard credit cards, the purchase processes almost instantly and appears quickly on your online account.
Prepaid cards are processed in a different way. It can take several days for the processing to be completed and for the purchase to show on your account.
However, with the Visa or MasterCard logo, your prepaid card is accepted anywhere those major brand names can be used.
Not all online merchants accept your prepaid card but the list of those who don’t accept this option is shrinking. The increased popularity of the prepaid credit accounts has led to increased acceptance of them for daily use.
If your purchase is declined, the most likely reason is that you have insufficient funds on the card to cover that purchase. Check the balance on your card and add more funds if needed.
A card without a Visa or MasterCard logo will face rejection from many online sites. However, you can choose and fund card with those logos just as easily and no credit check is required.
You may find a rare small merchant reluctant to accept your card but major consumer sites recognize the validity of this payment method. You can find almost anything you need to buy on Amazon – and the site accepts prepaid plastics.
You can use your card to provide verification for your Paypal account online. When using Paypal as your payment method, there is no problem with a merchant rejecting your card.
Online merchants accept prepaid accounts because they recognize the need to protect consumers privacy. A prepaid account is not linked to your bank account or to your social security number or birth date.
The card is linked only to the amount of money you placed in the account in advance of shopping online.
Computer hackers and keylogger programs have become more sophisticated online and merchants recognize the liability such invasions of privacy presents to their business.
Merchants now welcome any buying process that helps protect consumer privacy and the result is accepting prepaid cards with minimal hassle to the consumer.
When you shop in your local department store you may choose to pay with cash. Using cash online means you are giving access to your bank account on a secure site online. But how secure is that site?
Most transactions paid with electronic checks online go through without a problem. However, if your account is compromised you could find your bank account cleaned out within hours.
The risk may be small but the risk is there. It’s difficult to estimate the time wasted and the frustration of consumers whose identity has been stolen from online sites.
When you realize almost all onlinse stores actually accept your prepaid cards, you may begin to see the value in using the prepaid accounts for protecting your identity.
A prepaid account can also be used as an efficient way to prevent overspending on impulse buys.
You can only spend as much as you have funded to the account and that can limit the impulses of shopaholics who tend to get carried away with sales or spur of the moment buys.