Source: International Currency Exchange
International Currency Exchange (ICE), a leading innovator in the world of foreign exchange services has launched the pre-paid ICE Travellers cashcard.
Working in partnership with sister company, Raphaels Bank as the issuer, Altair Financial Services International Plc (Altair) as the prepaid processor and Medoc Computers Ltd as the application integrator, the new ICE Travellers cashcard is set to give travellers better protection and more convenience when travelling anywhere in the world.
The new ICE Travellers cashcard offers customers a very real alternative to bank credit and debit cards, traveller's cheques and cash. Accepted at over 25 million ATMs, shops and restaurants in over 120 countries worldwide, it carries the MasterCard brand mark and will be accepted wherever travellers see the MasterCard acceptance mark.
"Once again, ICE is responding to the needs of today's travellers for easy and safe access to currency while travelling abroad," explains Andrew Hamilton, Head of Marketing at ICE. "Working in partnership with Raphaels Bank, Medoc and Altair and using our own extensive expertise in the foreign exchange arena, we have been able to develop a prepaid card that is secure and easy to use.
"The recent dramatic rise of 77%* in stolen credit and bank debit card details being used abroad means that consumers should think very carefully about the plastic they carry when overseas. By using a prepaid card like the ICE Travellers cashcard, they will eliminate the risk of their main credit or debit card details being stolen and misused. Customers will find the ICE Travellers cashcard online application process easy to complete, with no need for documents to be sent through the post or any certified copies of documents. It's the ideal solution."
Mike Smith, Director at Raphaels Bank added, "Development of this card with ICE once again demonstrates our ability and flexibility in creating strong card propositions for consumer facing brands. We are able to develop similar schemes for other retail organisations based on the pre-paid card principles."
Lee Britton, CEO of Altair, added, "This launch rehis launch represents a superb endorsement of Altair's prepaid processing services, and adds to the portfolio of programmes we are now running with Raphaels Bank. ICE selected Altair to process the ICE Travellers cashcard programme, which demonstrates our ability to meet their vision for the market.
"We can expect to see a big switch in consumer behaviour towards prepaid travel cards, especially in developed countries such as the UK and USA, where sales of traveller's cheques continue to decline, and the market for prepaid travel products is steadily growing. A lot of this is due to a growing understanding of the benefits that prepaid cards offer travellers, particularly that it is a convenient and safer way to carry foreign currency."
ICE has completed a major project to integrate the front end application for the Travellers cashcard, working with Medoc. ICE took the decision that it wanted an application that was fully integrated into one basket with its on-line currency ordering service.
Lyn Done of Medoc comments "We're very pleased with the outcome of what was a complex project. Getting all the real-time checks and authorisations in place and integrating currency and card into one on-line basket was a challenge, but we're delighted with the result."
Travellers using the ICE Travellers cashcard will be able to access money anywhere in the world without incurring credit card charges, making budgeting easier. And the PIN protection means consumers can avoid the threat of credit card theft and fraud, for added peace of mind. A major additional benefit is that pre-paid cash cards are unattractive to overseas card fraudsters compared to bank credit and debit cards as they can only access the balance on the card. This means users can benefit by not risking their main account details or credit card details whilst travelling.
"We've used our expertise as a leading provider of foreign exchange services to ensure ICE customers gain the ultimate in peace of mind" concluded Andrew Hamilton. "We predict that there will be a significant switch to prepaid travel cards over the next five years."
*Losses in 2007 from fraud committed overseas by criminals using stolen UK card details was up 77% - or £90.5 million - to £207.6 million. Source APACS March 2008.