As the only product of its kind in South Africa that can be preloaded with up to four currencies (U.S. Dollars, Pound Sterling, Australian Dollars and Euros) at once, the MasterCard Multi-currency Cash Passport offers cardholders a secure and convenient way to carry their foreign currency when travelling abroad. It also enables travellers to pay for goods and services at millions of merchant locations and withdraw cash from ATMs all over the world where MasterCard products are accepted.
"The security, flexibility and convenience of the Cash Passport offers travellers increased peace of mind while travelling," says Alan King, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Access Prepaid Worldwide, a MasterCard subsidiary. "Since the Cash Passport is preloaded and not linked to a bank account, the risks of carrying cash are eliminated."
Additional security benefits include emergency cash disbursements and a free replacement card if it is lost or stolen. Global assistance is available 24/7 and can be accessed toll-free in 50 countries. The card's embedded chip technology offers increased protection against counterfeiting and fraud.
Preloading specific currency amounts onto the Cash Passport prior to travelling reduces currency conversion charges as cardholders are able to lock in the exchange rates for each currency. This means cardholders will know exactly how much they're spending in the currency of a particular purchase.
In each destination country, the Cash Passport uses advanced technology to match the transaction currency with the appropriate currency loaded onto the card so that no further foreign exchange conversions take place. Furthermore, to ensure that purchases are not declined due to an insufficient balance, the Cash Passport will also convert the transaction amount into another available currency loaded on the card when required.
"The Multi-Currency Cash Passport is an innovative product that puts cardholders in control of their travel spending. Most importantly, it makes spending in foreign countries safe and easy so that cardholders can enjoy their travels. This is the first card of its kind we're offering our customers because of its Chip and PIN and multi-currency functionality, making it a unique addition to our range of foreign exchange products we currently offer," says Andrew McDonic, Managing Director of American Express Foreign Exchange.
A standard card fee is payable when purchasing the Cash Passport for the first time, and then amounts from US$100 to US$60,000 or the alternative currency equivalents can be loaded and reloaded at will. This removes the need to carry or convert cash when travelling.
The Cash Passport links cardholders to their accounts online, so they can check their balance, move money between currencies, review their transaction history and update personal details at any time.
"The success of the first Multi-currency Cash Passport, a co-branded card that we launched with Absa in 2013, has paved the way for us to make the Cash Passport product available through more outlets across South Africa this year. The card is now available at 85 Absa branches and American Express Foreign Exchange outlets around the country," says King.