China's first pre-paid travel card is to be launched this month by Visa member banks nationwide, spearheaded by China Construction Bank in Beijing and Shanghai.
Visa’s Prepaid Card is available to all consumers without the need for them to be credit eligible or have a bank account. Using magnetic stripe technology the card can be used internationally for point-of-sale transactions at 24 million merchant locations and for cash withdrawal at 750,000 ATMs.
Consumers can purchase the card from the branches of issuing banks and financial institutions; it draws from funds stored on a server and the value may be reloaded if the issuing bank offers this option.
Visa Asia Pacific executive vice president and general manager, marketing and product sales Rajiv Kapoor says the card play an important role in Visa’s ongoing effort to promote electronic payment and replace the use of cash and cheques.
“Prepaid Cards have massive potential in Asia Pacific, offering a convenient payment tool for the 1.5 billion adults who do not have a bank account and another 360 million banked adults who are not eligible for credit cards,” he says.
China is the third market where Visa is introducing the service, following successful launches in Indonesia and Korea over the last six months.
In Indonesia, Bank Bali was the first bank to launch a Visa prepaid 'eWallet' shopping and gift card, as well as a co-branded eWallet with the national postal service PTPos Indonesia especially for students. Parents can transfer money direct to the student card account, bypassing traditional telegraphic transfers or more expensive funds transfer methods.
Says Kapoor: “In the months to come, we will be launching more Prepaid Card applications such as prepaid gift cards, telephone cards and remittance cards in potential markets across Asia Pacific.”