Using your Visa ATM card for internet shopping and foreign transactions

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Posted by on Tuesday June 18, 2013 at 8:17:2:

One of the things I've recently noticed about Visa branded ATM cards in Nigeria is that you can now activate them for use on the internet. So, besides just using your ATM card for withdrawing money or checking your balance at ATMs, you can also use it to make payments on the internet and the funds will be take straight from your bank account.

To start using your visa ATM card for making internet payments, you first need to activate the i-PIN by changing it at any supported ATM center. Locate and ATM, slot in your Visa card, enter your PIN, select to change PIN, select the i-PIN and enter an i-PIN and submit. Remember your i-PIN and then your Visa card would be activated for internet use for making payments in Naira or Dollars.

In the past before prepaid credit cards came out in Nigeria, people had to buy gift cards and later on banks started offering USD backed cards and that was a relief. Later on, Naira cards also arrived and they are supported globally for making internet payments.

What this means is that you no longer have to get a USD or GBP Visa card separately anytime you want to make payments online that are in USD or buy stuff at US websites like Amazon from Nigeria. You could simply pay with a Naira Visa card.

One difference I've come to know between using a Naira visa card and prepaid Visa card for making payments is that the exchange rates on the former is normally higher than prepaid visa cards. For prepaid visa USD cards, one could just buy forex at local dealers and pay into a a special bank account to fund his card but with the Naira visa card, one would have to rely on the. I remember being charged as high as N175 per USD when using a Naira card when the black market rate was at around N158 to the dollar. So banks tend to use their rates to debit your account when you use a Visa card to make payments in foreign currency.

So although rates may be higher when using a Naira visa card for making payments in other currencies, it does offer the convenience of simply shopping and making payments directly from your bank account.

The good thing is that you can use your Visa card anywhere in the world on ATM, POS and anywhere Visa cards are accepted and you will simply be paying in Naira.


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