Foreign debit cards to replace traveller's cheques
22 September 2008 10:28
People visiting other countries could soon be using debit cards with a set amount of foreign currency on them instead of traveller's cheques, a credit card comparison site said today.
Moneysupermarket.com said that the new type of debit cards offered fewer fees and competitive exchange rates compared to credit cards and could even provide a higher amount of security in case of theft or fraud.
Steve Willey, head of cards and payments at moneysupermarket.com, said that the debit cards should be considered to be "currency card[s]" instead of just a prepaid card.
"Essentially they're two things - the first is the currency card, which is a direct traveller's cheque replacement," he said.
"But for many others who perhaps can't obtain any form of credit card, it does give them a way of taking money abroad - and often at more competitive rates than obtaining foreign currency at, say, an airport."
He explained that once money was loaded onto the card in the chosen currency, no fees would be incurred on the transactions and also no exchange fees.
According to payments association APACS, fraud carried out abroad accounts for over one third (39 per cent) of total card fraud losses.