I’ve mostly used prepaid Mastercards in the past. Today I tried to use a prepaid VISA card, and my transaction was declined. I talked to the recipient of the attempted transaction (a company) and they said to try the card, because it was declined.

I called VISA’s number on the back of their card. Foreign (Indian) reception service, and got through to the phone menu on the third call (first two said ‘Busy, call again later’). She was helpful and polite, though, and her English was understandable.

However, to use the prepaid VISA, she informed me, I had to register, either with her on the phone or online. What is required? Phone number, email and address. I said I’d just get a Mastercard, thanked her, and hung up.

POINT: VISA’s prepaids require you to register your phone number, email and address with them before you use them online. (I’m not sure if you also need to register to use them in a store. If anyone knows, comment it, please). Mastercards have not required this (in my experience).