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Why does LL not accept bank debit cards as a payment method?


Jennifer Boyle
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LL Does accept some "Bank Debit Cards. Which seems to be more or less hit and miss. Mostly miss. The whys are out there along with the answers to questions like:

1) who really killed President Kennedy & James Hoffa?

2) why are UFO's so damn hard to photograph?

3) why did the Apocalypse fail to happen in Dec 21st?

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LL Does accept some "Bank Debit Cards. Which seems to be more or less hit and miss. Mostly miss. The whys are out there along with the answers to questions like:

1) who really killed President Kennedy & James Hoffa?

2) why are UFO's so damn hard to photograph?

3) why did the Apocalypse fail to happen in Dec 21st?

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Linden Lab does accept bank issued debit cards.  A debit card is different than a pre-paid card.  I use (and have been using) my Visa debit card for payment of my premium account for over 2 years now (probably close to 3 years).  It has never failed.  It works just like my credit card used to work before I closed that CC account (2, going on 3 years ago).  My CC was MasterCharge but my debit card is Visa.

There's a world of difference between a pre-paid card and a debit card (and, of course, a credit card).

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I think the problem is probably that some types of debit card guarantee payment to the merchant (LL in this case) up to a certain amount, whether or not the card holder actually has the funds available,  while others require that the funds actually be available in the card-holder's account.  

Since LL presumably can't check, in many cases, whether the bank will honour the transaction, they've probably taken the commercial decision not to risk accepting cards that don't guarantee them payment.

The Visa Electron card (widely used outside the USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland) is an example of a debit card that's not universally acceptable, particularly for online purchases, for this very reason.

 

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As is always the case with company policy questions, the real answer is "Because they say so."  There are practical reasons too, though.  When you list a credit card with LL as a payment method, they want some assurance that they will always be able to draw against it.  If your card is a credit card, then its balance is always backed up by your bank account.  If it's a debit card, however, LL can't be sure that it will always have money in it.  Unfortunately, LL's accounting system isn't fast, like an ATM, so it can't double check in real time to find out either.  Being conservative, LL decides not to trust debit cards on principle.  (It doesn't help, either, that many prepaid cards are untraceable.  Gift cards that you can buy at the local supermarket are very handy, but they are also favorites of people who are trying to leave no paper trail.  If you run up a balance with LL and your gift card can't cover it, LL has no way to go after you for it. PIOF is only as good if it is verifiable.)

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