UK bank NatWest is launching a disposable pre-paid gift card in time for Christmas, which can be loaded with cash and used to pay for purchases anywhere that accepts Visa card payments.
The card initally costs £3 to purchase and can be loaded with cash worth between £10 and £250. However the card is not re-loadable and cannot be topped up once spent.
There is no charge for making transactions in the UK, and the card can be used to make as many transactions as desired until the card expires.
The card is being pitched as an alternative to gift vouchers or one-store voucher cards.
Research carried out by NatWest ahead of the launch found that Brits will waste more than £105 million this Christmas buying gift vouchers for people who won't use them. A further £40 million worth of vouchers will be exchanged for cash.
Half the 1600 people surveyed says they feel restricted when they get a voucher and 20% have still got unused vouchers from last Christmas. Over half of recipients (57%) end up buying something they don't really want just to get rid of the unwanted voucher.