Originally posted by mikelom
I'm not a high risk customer, far from it. But as you pointed out, if correct, you say it seeks confirmation. That's more than confirming available funds.. it allows usage of available credit.....not like VISA which tends to abuse confidence and enable its users to become indebted. Think again about what you just wrote?
I never said you were.
If your bank will allow you an overdraft of, for arguments sake, £100, then by seeking confirmation of available funds that additional £100 is taken into account - e.g. account balance + overdraft = available funds. You are repeating what I wrote by comparing use of available credit with use of available funds.
I cannot comment on specific VISA practices, however I'm sure the FSA (and other nations banking authorities) would have something to say if VISA enabled its users to become indebted as you say... besides, VISA is the means of payment, it is the banks that ultimately decide to authorise / decline the transaction for their customer, based on their own rules in conjunction with those of VISA, and the status of the customers account.
The banks are also responsible for carrying out a 'risk assesment' of each of their customers to determine if they are suitable to extend credit facililties to, or to offer one or other of the card types to (Visa Electon/Visa, or Solo/Switch(Maestro) in the case of HSBC) - this is usually decided at application, then reviewed later (either at fixed time intervals, or on customer request).
As per my previous post, in general those who appear to be higher risk are those offered the 'lesser services', or declined upgrade requests at a later date.
Re: your comments on chequebooks, I personally agree that they are a hassle, however I still carry one for exactly these types of situations (or similarly paying builders etc, where cash is too risky and card not possible).
Returning to the point of the thread, click "send feedback" and ask Russ / Chris how you can best make payment given your special circumstances.