Safe plastic ideal for travellers
With the festive season at our doorstep, holiday makers and business travellers alike are bound to go around the globe and spend, but moving around with cash carries a high risk hence the need to travel with plastic money, which can come in the form of a World Currency Card™.
Qwet Smit, Manager at Namibia Bureau de change, gave the Economist an inside view of the World Currency Card which has been available in Namibia for the past three years.
Said Smit, “The World Currency Card is a pre-loaded travel card that allows customers to load the currency required onto the relevant currency card.
This means that they do not need to worry about fluctuating exchange rates.” “They can also track their spending by use of text or email notifications. The World Currency Card can also be reloaded at any time from anywhere in the world,” he added.
The World Currency Card is issued by the Namibia Bureau de Change through their partnership with Bidvest South Africa. Travellers wanting to apply for the card can do so at the Bureau’s main branch in Independence Avenue in Windhoek.
“Anyone can apply for the card regardless of the banking institution they bank with.
The cards are preloaded and can only be done at Namibia Bureau de Change,” Smit added. The advantages for opting for the World Currency Card and not any other form of plastic currency as Smit put it, is that clients avoid high costs associated with using a credit cards overseas.
“There is no need to worry about fluctuating exchange rates and the card can be used at over a million Visa accredited ATMs worldwide as well as being accepted at all stores, hotels and restaurants where the Visa sign is displayed,” he explained.
Again, cardholders can settle bills or make purchases, with zero transaction fees, while they can easily swipe to pay wherever they see the Visa sign. The card also allows users to reload at any given time and they can also receive Visa Platinum purchase protection and extended warranty on items bought using their World Currency Card.
“When using the card, the only charges incurred will be when withdrawing funds from an ATM. Charges vary between currencies but are fixed regardless of the amount being drawn. All point of sale (swipe) transactions is free of charge,” he said.
“There will however be a 6% conversion fee should the card transact at a different currency to what is available on the card, i.e. using US Dollars in a EURO zone,” said Smit. Smit said the card’s market penetration was good, having been noticed by more and more Namibians travelling abroad during the past three years. “The World Currency Card has done very well , although we still have a long way to go as compared to other markets such as South Africa.” With regard to who can own a card, Smit said any Namibian resident over the age of 18 is eligible to apply for a card while persons under the age of 18 must have a legal guardian present. As for the application process, he said the procedure is very easy and straightforward.
“The World Currency Card can be issued and activated while you wait. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.
Funds loaded onto a World Currency Card are available immediately, eliminating the normal waiting periods experienced at banking institutions” he added.
The World Currency Car is valid for a period of up to five years.