Visa Debit is a major debit card issued by Visa in the United Kingdom. Prior to October 2004 the debit card was known as Visa Delta. The following major banks operating in the UK, issue debit cards under the Visa Debit scheme: Barclays Bank, Lloyds TSB, Abbey and Halifax Bank of Scotland who abandoned Switch due to a delay in chip and pin rollout. The scheme is also used by many smaller banks and building societies including the Cooperative Bank, Alliance & Leicester, Northern Rock and Nationwide.
The front of the card is identical to a Visa credit card, with the addition of the words "DEBIT CARD". On the back, some older cards also display the Delta logo, and usually also a cheque guarantee logo. However, beginning in 2006, there will no longer be "DEBIT CARD" but one single "VISA DEBIT" logo: not the well known "blue, white, gold" flag style but simply the word VISA with the word Debit directly below it. The same also now applies to "VISA" (as a credit card but without the word 'credit') and "VISA electron".
The card can be used just like a Visa credit card both internationally and in the UK. Retailers in the UK can however accept the card as a debit card rather than a normal Visa card. In this case, the store is not charged a percentage, but rather a fixed charge of around 50p per transaction. All transactions are in any case processed through the Visa clearing system, using the same card number, distinguishing it from other national debit card schemes which can be combined with Visa on a debit card, like Carte Bancaire in France and BankAxept in Norway, where the card in fact contains credentials for two distinct charging systems.
Visa is now in the final stages of replacing the Visa Delta name with Visa Debit. Visa Delta is no longer mentioned on their website and most card issuers and merchants are now removing the logo from display, although it is still widely printed on merchants receipts. The standard Visa logo has always been used for both visa credit and debit cards but prior to October 2004 the "Delta" symbol would appear on the reverse of the debit card.
The only competitor to Visa Debit in the UK debit card market is Maestro, which is issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest, Clydesdale Bank and HSBC. Maestro is an internationally accepted debit card, but the UK domestic debit card system is still run by Switch but branded Maestro. Some people tend to prefer a certain type of card such as the former Switch card, as it has had longer market presence. Many banking customers (especially Bank Of Scotland Halifax) tend to refer to Visa Delta as Switch. However, Visa is more widely accepted in the UK and internationally as both Visa Credit and Debit cards use the Visa Clearing system.
Contrary to common belief, Visa Delta was the first Debit card in the UK before Switch. Barclays introduced their "Connect" card (June 1987 - later rebranded Delta) shortly before NatWest released their "Switch" card (October 1988)
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