Visa Electron is a debit or credit card available across most of the world, with the exception of the United States, Canada and Australia. The card was introduced by VISA in the 80s and is a sister card to the Visa Debit card. If the Visa Electron logo is the only VISA logo on the card, the card will always require online authorization.
In different regions, the card is issued with different specifications. For example, one bank may issue it as a debit card, while another may issue it as a credit card. It is most commonly issued as a debit card. In this case applying for a credit card requires the applicant to present some proof of regular income (such as an employment certificate) or financial assets invested elsewhere.
In addition to debit facilities, the card also allows the holder to withdraw cash from ATMs even outside the holder's country of residence unlike normal ATM cards issued in some countries. This is because Visa Electron cards are also linked to the PLUS interbank network.
In the United Kingdom, the card is not as widely accepted as the sister Visa Debit card, but is often issued by banks as a debit card for children's accounts. In some countries, like Australia, retailers are required to accept the card as part of VISA's Accept All Cards Policy, which also applies to the normal Visa Debit card, although the card isn't available locally.
In countries that have stricter criteria for issuing credit cards Visa Electron has become popular with younger people and students alike due to much lower requirements and low fees.
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