Absa launches first Multi-Currency Cash Passport in South Africa

Absa first to give South Africans the ability to carry multiple foreign currencies safely and on just one card.

May 15, 2013

Absa first to give South Africans the ability to carry multiple foreign currencies safely and on just one card.

Representing the future of travel prepaid cards, Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays has launched a Multi-Currency Cash Passport – South Africa’s first reloadable prepaid travel Multi-Currency Card.

The card allows cardholders to load multiple currencies on the same card with global reach of MasterCard®, while it is also accepted at 35.9 million locations worldwide. Cardholders can currently load up to four currencies on the easy-to-use card: US dollar, British Pounds, Euro and the Australian Dollars. More currencies will be added to the Multi-Currency Cash Card at a later stage.

Absa will also be launching an Islamic Banking Multi-Currency Cash Passport soon, which is a first Sharia’h compliant and unique solution for clients travelling overseas.

“Although there are other prepaid travel cards in South Africa, they can only carry one currency at a time. The Multi-currency Cash Passport card has the ability to allow customers to carry foreign exchange loaded with multiple currencies on one card,” says Head of Retail Banking Arrie Rautenbach.

He continues: “When the card is used in the destination country, the system intelligently chooses the correct currency depending on the country the cardholder is in, as long as the currency is available (for example, if in the US the system will automatically debit the US Dollar purse on the card).”

“If an ATM withdrawal or point of sale transaction is made in a currency which is different to any of the available currencies on the card, or exceeds the relevant available currency balance on the card, the amount will be funded by converting the transaction amount onto the next available currency balance on the card.”

Rautenbach said the Multi-Currency card would provide travelers with great peace of mind. “It is Chip and PIN enabled for peace of mind and it is not linked to your bank account, this means it is secure and convenient, taking out the hassle of carrying cash.”

The card also provides travelers with an industry leading emergency assistance service should the card become lost, stolen or damaged. Cardholders can simply call a toll-free number from the country they are in and arrangements will be made to provide emergency cash up to the available balance on the card through a reputable money transfer company (typically within 20 minutes) and/or for a replacement card to be couriered to the cardholders location within 24-48 hours. This emergency assistance is provided free of charge and is available 24/7.

Absa’s Multi-Currency card allows consumers to plan, budget and enjoy using their cards without having to worry about fluctuating exchange rates as they can lock-in exchange rate each time they load or reload.

“All this is to make our customers’ lives much easier in our mission to become the go-to destination for customers when they are travelling,” says Rautenbach adding that while this enhances the customer experience by eliminating the risk of carrying cash, it also becomes convenient to just carry one card.

Alan King, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa at Access Prepaid Worldwide said: “The Multi-currency Cash Passport is incredibly convenient for frequent travelers and those who cross multiple borders on the same trip. Together with Absa, not only are we first to market in South Africa with this innovative product, but it’s actually a first for Africa as a whole as well.”

Multi-currency Cash Passport is issued by Travelex Card Services Limited, pursuant to license by MasterCard® Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.