Co-badged cards

Co-badged payment cards are cards that integrate two or more payment brands.

The payment brand enables you to identify the payment system through which payments made with a particular card are processed.

There are payment brands for:

  • Debit operations – for example, Multibanco, Visa Electron and Maestro;

  • Credit operations – for example, Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Before concluding the card contract, the card issuer must inform the holder/consumer about the payment brands it provides and respective characteristics (in particular, on their features, costs and security).

Bank customers may ask the payment service provider that issues the cards to include a payment card with two or more payment brands, provided that the payment service provider has such option available.


Choice of the payment brand by bank customers

The point of sale (POS) or automated teller machine (ATM) can accept one payment brand or several payment brands:

  • When the POS accepts only one payment brand, cardholders cannot choose the brand through which they intend to make their payment, i.e. they must use the brand that is available on both the card and the terminal;

  • When the POS accepts more than one payment brand associated with the card, the holder of a co-brand payment card can choose which of the brands available on their card to use to make a particular payment. In case of POS, the terminal displays the available payment brands and bank customers can choose the one they want to use for that payment.

When using a dual or multi-function card (i.e. one that combines debit and credit functions) and the POS accepts the debit and credit brands on the card, holders can choose the payment brand associated with the debit function at the POS (for example, Multibanco, Visa Electron or Maestro), if they want the transaction amount to be immediately debited from their account, or the payment brand associated with the credit function (for example, Visa or MasterCard), if they want to use the credit limit associated with the card.

In Portugal, some credit cards also allow debit transactions in ATMs (cash withdrawals, payment of services and credit transfers). However, these cards cannot be used in POS to make payments by debit to the current account.

In the case of pure or simple cards (I.e. which have only one function – debit, prepaid or credit), the choice of a particular payment brand does not change the functions of the card.

Regardless of the payment brand selected, if the bank customer makes a payment with a debit card, the transaction is debited from the associated payment account and, in the case of using a credit card, the amounts are deducted from the credit limit of the card.