Jan 19 2011

Ryanair and Prepaid Mastercards

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 7:07 pm

Last weekend I needed to book Ryanair flights. I have a Visa Electron card, and I used to use it all the time to avoid the 5€ per flight administration fee. However, Ryanair changed the rules so that the only card that does not attract such a fee is a prepaid Mastercard. This is described in Why is there an administration fee when I reserve my flights?:

As a special offer to Mastercard Prepaid Debit (MP) card holders, Ryanair, will not apply an administration fee to those customers paying by this method of payment.

I am sure that the only reason for this prepaid Mastercard exception is that Ryanair can still advertise the fare excluding the fee, and it is probably the least common card type available.

Anyway, over Christmas I was lucky to receive a gift voucher for use in a large shopping centre (Whitewater). This gift voucher is actually a prepaid Mastercard, so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, it did not work. I got a generic payment failure error instead of the page with my confirmation number and booking details. Perhaps this was related to the fact that I used my home address as the cardholder’s address, even though my address would not be associated with the card.

I was tight on time, so I went ahead and booked the flights using my normal credit card. If I had more time I would follow it up directly with Ryanair.

I have since read a very interesting thread describing how other prepaid Mastercard shopping vouchers have successfully been used. See Prepaid Mastercard No Loading or Purchase Charges (Works with Ryanair).

I will try one of these the next time!

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Dec 04 2008

New Visa Credit Card

Category: SecurityTeknovis @ 10:51 pm

I am currently reviewing which bank I should give my business to, and as part of this review I am considering getting a new credit card. Actually, I am wondering if I should get a debit card instead.

Therefore, I was very interested in reading about a new credit card that Visa is releasing. The unique thing about this new card is that when a user wants to use it then he/she enters his/her PIN into the card. So the card has a small keyboard in it, and yet it is still the same size as a normal credit card. The card then generates a unique one use code that must be used as part of the purchasing process. This ensures that user is really in possession of the card.

The vagueness of the Data Protection Act legislation covering the usage and storage of credit card details in the UK is also very interesting:

appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data

having regard to the state of technological development and the cost of implementing any measures

More details about all of this can be read in Visa’s digital credit card could raise legal stakes.

In terms of credit card security, the thing that really amazes me is that the CVV number is printed on the back of the card! This means that anybody who can get hold of a credit card (even for a few seconds) can later use the credit card for online purchases!

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