British bank Lloyds TSB has launched a PIN-protected pre-paid re-loadable payment card designed to replace paper travellers' cheques and cash.
The Lloyds TSB Travel Money Card costs £7.50 and can be pre-loaded with between £150 and £3000 in either euros or US dollars.
The card can be used to make purchases at retail outlets that acccept Visa payments and to withdraw money from ATMs.
When abroad cardholders can call a telephone number to top up funds, check the balance and access details of recent transactions.
The card is valid for two years allowing travellers to save unused cash from one trip for their next trip. At the end of the two years any unused funds can be transferred to a new card or sent back to the customer.
Gerrard Schmid, Lloyds TSB transaction banking director, says the card is the future for foreign currency: "You can load only what you want to spend and feel confident that if it's reported lost or stolen the money can be credited to a new Travel Money Card and you won't be liable for any losses."
Lloyds TSB says research conducted amongst its customers found that 69% are likely to consider taking the pre-paid with them next time they travel.