Adding to FAQ that offline payments might not be supported?


I just went through the FAQ to find something different but came across the point what isn’t currently supported.
I wonder if there should be a statement in the FAQ that some services can not be used if they don’t have an internet connection. I remember someone here in the forum talking about trying to pay via Card on board of a flight.
Even if this isn’t a Revolut specific issue, but prepaid card issue. Then it might be worth mentioning to prevent some more users getting frustrated by this.

CU AssetBurned :wink:


To me, it would be most useful to learn under which conditions offline payments are allowed and under which conditions the card will be declined.
I have recently had a rather surprising experience: the CC receipt specifically stated “offline,” and the transaction didn’t pop up in the app immediately, but only the following day – So clearly some offline transactions are allowed, but not all. How is this decided? Is an offline-limit encoded on the chip or does the merchant have a setting that allows him to take the risk?
These would all be questions that could be addressed in an FAQ entry.

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Yes, that seems to be one of the mysteries with this kind of cards. I would be interested in some background as well.

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Well the decoder function in the chip indeed might be something. Eventhough it isn’t a function.
Technically every credit card has some how the information stored which verification methodes are supported/allowed by it. That could be also the security mechanism if you have to use a pin or if a signature would be ok.
So from my point of view we have three situations here.

  1. the point of sales is aware that this is a prepaid card and just don’t want you to use it. (Sales person see the card and tell you no)
  2. the terminal recognises this BIN6 as prepaid and declines
  3. the terminal can not provide the verification Methode that is required by the card (e.g. Online check against the MasterCard databases.

While 1 is the one where Revolut can give no general statement about. And I highly doubt that a credit card terminal can have all bin6 all the time up to date… I assume that at least part 3 could be clarified by Revolut. But as this would open up attack vectors to them I do not think that they are willing to do so.

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Yes, the software on the card itself controls possible ways of authorizing a payment. If a card issuer does not allow “offline PIN” for example, the card won’t work with POS terminals that don’t have an online connection. Merchants won’t accept prepaid cards here because they are just not able to check if a customer has sufficient funds for a payment. (That is the reason why prepaid cards used to be flat, no embossed digits, they couldn’t be used in one of those old “offline” manual imprinters.)

I have read somewhere else here in the forum that a POS terminal does not make a difference between a debit and a prepaid card. MasterCard only differentiates credit from debit here. On MasterCard’s website, though, the debit card is described with superior acceptance to the prepaid card. But my guess is that this is achieved mainly by allowing offline PIN for some debit cards.

This would explain why the Debit MasterCard from N26 is accepted on Deutsche Bahn trains while Revolut’s card supposedly doesn’t work there.

Actually it is also not unusual for terminals to determine that :r: cards, and other prepaid Mastercards, are credit cards. When companies then want 2.5% extra for using a credit card I will not be using :r: for those purchases.

Well I have no idea if that is encoded into the chip magnet strip as well, but if you search for the BIN6 you can find the subtype.
e.g. if you use

Same on

Yes, but that does not say anything about POS terminal programming. I don’t see a reason why a merchant wouldn’t want to accept a payment if an online terminal can ensure sufficient funds. Really no difference between debit and prepaid here. My assumption is, as described, that acceptance of the Debit Mastercard might only be better in situations without online POS terminals. Banks (card issuers) might have the option to allow payments not checked against a real time account balance. This seems to be a locigal requirement for offline PIN.

Indeed and I don’t think that every offline terminal has a up to date list of the 99999 possible bin6 and wich of them are prepaid or not. Even though it would be technically possible even for the in flight terminals to quickly get smaller updates when on cellular or how ever they are working. At some point they also have to transmit their sales information otherwise that whole thing would be a useless anyway :wink:

well if the merchant only has the opportunity to do the sales in offline mode (e.g. in flight) I can understand that they don’t want to be in the risk that the card is not covered with credit. such a prepaid card could also one that you can buy at your corner shop or here at the post office. Top up once and then throw them away if they are empty. I could imagine that for normal cards there are some contract agreements in place that prevent the merchant from loosing too much money. But yes I speculate here as I am not in that business.

Please do not forget that we are not talking about “Is it a credit card or not?” we are talking about the card type and subtype.

It seems that PayPal can charge / debit your Revolut virtual card even when the card is locked / frozen. Paypal will use offline transaction. Shouldn’t this / offline transactions just be possible only for physical cards ? Shouldn’t Revolut have to verify that a offline transaction was made on a non-physical card ? And reject it ? Too many questions …
Offline payments should be used when POS terminal connection to the bank is not possible, airplanes/flights as an example.

Say goodbye to security if you want to protect your money. Good job Revolut / Paypal!

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Since when does Revolut support offline mode at all?!

What is a delayed transaction?
If a merchant is not able to establish a live connection to process a payment (like a card terminal on a plane, or underground ticket machine), they can save the transaction and process it at a later time, so the transaction will only be reflected in your app some days later. This can happen even after the transaction has been automatically reverted.

Delayed transactions can’t be declined, so receiving one could cause your balance to drop below zero if you don’t have enough funds to cover the transaction amount.

Last time I was flying with wizzair

They specific told
You can use revolut card on board

Delayed and offline transactions are slightly different things, technically and historically. Merchants have more control over delayed transactions and card configuration has less impact in a merchants capability to process delayed transactions.

I am sorry, i didn’t know

No reason to apologise! They appear and are very similar from a customer’s perspective!