A Visa card is a Visa card is a Visa card. Or maybe not?

Discussion in 'Community' started by pianojoe, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. pianojoe macrumors 6502

    pianojoe

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Location:
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    #1
    I wanted to ask our fellow non U.S. citizens about their experience on shopping U.S. warehouses online with their non-U.S. credit cards. Maybe some of you had the same problems I had, and found a workaround... Anyway, here's my story:

    I have been using a Visa credit card for years and enjoyed its world-wide acceptance. Actually, Visa Inc. beats its drum very loudly about millions of stores world-wide that accept their cards. It is also common knowledge that a shop carrying the Visa sign must accept the card as means of payment.

    Or so I thought.

    When I shopped at www.smalldogs.com (after I saw their ad on macrumors, of course), they turned down my card, because it was not issued by a U.S. bank. ("We can't verify it.") How does this match Visa Inc.'s business policy? After all, they're advertising world-wide acceptance. When I visited the U.S. (and showed up in person in the shops) I had no problems renting a car, paying my restaurant bill, and buying computer gear. But that was before the patriot act. I wonder...

    Now, I'm not going to rant about how non U.S. residents are being treated 2nd class. Other online stores that didn't want to serve me were www.overstock.com, and, alas, store.apple.com. A light in the dark is www.amazon.com. They have no problems processing my "exotic" Visa credit card.

    Anyone made a similar experience?
     
  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    No, a Visa card is a Visa card. If you walked into a physical store of Apple etc in the US, you'd be able to use your Visa card without any problem.

    The trouble comes when you want to make a 'Card Not Present' transaction - most of these transactions particularly where they are for high $ amounts, require authorisation by a credit company before they can be processed. If 99% of your business is US based (or you provide alternative country specific stores), then there's no point in having UK credit companies contracted at whatever fees. I wonder if the reason Amazon still has international credit card processing is because at first, the .com shop was the only one.

    Another problem is that most online store have to add shipping/taxes before you reach the end of the checkout. For continental US, that's easy to do. To ship internationally, it's a lot of effort - you need the weights and dimensions of each product, what the likely taxes might be etc. Again, if less than 1% of your business is likely to be international, it's a cost that most businesses don't need.
     
  3. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #3
    yep, that's America for ya. have to do everything their own way :rolleyes:
     
  4. pianojoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    pianojoe

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Location:
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    #4
    Thanks for your explanation. My billing and shipping address are both in the U.S., so that's not the problem. I didn't realize that the procedure is substantially different if you don't have the card physically in your hand. Strange: All those credit card fraud gangsters in Eastern Europe "work" any credit card, and one of the biggest computer manufacturers on the planet doesn't.

    Anybody know a workaround, other than opening a U.S. checking acount to obtain a debit card, or wire transfer, which is so expensive from Europe?
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #6
    I also prefer AMEX.

    However, a card with AMEX Japan is different than a card from AMEX US.

    So some features are not available with a US AMEX account/card here in Japan.

    Sushi
     
  6. pianojoe thread starter macrumors 6502

    pianojoe

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Location:
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    #7
    Hm. Would that solve my problem?
     

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