Multi-currency prepaid travel card launched in SA


Bidvest Bank and MasterCard have launched the Multi-Currency World Currency Card in South Africa.

According to the financial institutions the offering is the first prepaid travel card that can accommodate up to 17 currencies and comes with the benefit of a mobile application to facilitate the process.

Currency can be loaded onto the card before departure, and while travelling, with any one or all of the 17 available currencies that are available.

Japie van Niekerk, managing director at Bidvest Bank says the card will make spending less cumbersome during travel.

"Cardholders can make instant transfers between the various currencies on the card, for example if a specific currency is depleted. We have also made topping-up of funds an easy process, giving our clients the ability to reload any currency on their card," says van Niekerk.

Although currency can be preloaded or topped up via the Bidvest Bank online forex ordering portal, or at one of the bank's branches, cardholders will be able to check balances, transaction history and transfer between currencies through the World Currency Card mobile app which is available for download from the iOS and Android app stores or online through the 'My Account' online portal.

Smart ID integration

South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba is launching a pilot project in partnership with financial institutions aimed at ensuring convenient access to the application of Smart ID cards by clients from respective banks.

Standard Bank chief executive officer Ben Kruger and FNB chief executive officer Jacques Celliers and senior management from the Department of Home Affairs joined the Minister at the launch in Johannesburg this morning.

Minister Gigaba announced the intention to collaborate with South Africa's major banks to provide an alternative channel to serve clients and thereby expand Home Affairs footprint while minimising queues at front-line offices during his Budget Vote speech earlier this year.

"The partnership seeks to facilitate efficient and secure ways of accessing services; accelerate the replacement of the green bar-coded ID book; and eradicate the old system of processing the Green ID book which currently still poses risks," read a statement from the department.

Smart ID cards are cards with a capability to accommodate information from sources. The department has indicated that the card is more secure and durable, because of the quality polycarbonate materials which will prevent potential tampering.

Other security features on the card are holograms, laser engraving of personal details, which will provide visual verification of the card and easily identify tampered cards. Also included are fingerprints biometrics and biographic data embedded on the microchip.