MBNA Europe has teamed with a UK shopping centre to launch a pre-paid gift card that can be used at retailers that accept Visa Electron cards.
MBNA Europe says it is launching the UK's first ever pre-paid Visa gift card in partnership with Manchester's Trafford Centre.
The gift card is used in the same way as a normal credit or debit card, but is pre-loaded with funds. Each time a cardholder uses the gift card, the purchase amount is deducted from the available balance.
The card can be bought at The Trafford Centre and pre-loaded with amounts up to a maximum of £250. Cardholders can check account balances and monitor spending via a dedicated Web site, over the phone or at The Trafford Centre customer service desk.
Vincent Reboul, head of product development at MBNA Europe, says the gift card represents a significant move in the world of card payments: "Previously, consumers had the choice to pay for goods or services immediately through cash, cheques or debit cards, or out of future income through credit cards or loans. Now the gift card allows for pre-payment - ideal for giving as a gift, for someone on a budget, or for use by people who have no previous experience of using a card product."