Given that most retailers and businesses have transferred their businesses to an online platform, it is now easier than ever to purchase goods online.
From groceries and everyday items to high-end luxury goods such as TVs and fridge-freezers, it appears that you can now buy virtually anything on the net.
While there are undoubtedly many advantages to viewing and purchasing on a computer, tablet or Smartphone, it can also play havoc with your budget. This is obviously an issue which has been more relevant than ever during the last few financially tough years.
When many different products are displayed on the screen, it is all too easy to act on impulse and purchase many expensive goods.
It’s very easy to come across something online that you just “must have” even when you might know deep down that the finances are not necessarily there to afford it.
That’s where a prepaid card can help, as you’re limited by the amount of funds that you will have personally switched over to the card.
These cards can be topped up, but it does make going on a spending spree slightly more difficult and overspending considerably less likely.
In essence, it works in exactly the same way as a debit or credit card, with Chip and PIN protection and the ability to withdraw funds from an ATM.
Reducing the risk of fraud
At the same time, since the cards are not usually linked directly to your bank account, the threat of online fraud is greatly reduced and your exposure is limited to funds on the card only.
Many online purchases require a great deal of personal information, but with a prepaid card, there is no direct link to a bank account.
If anything should go wrong, the cards can also be cancelled and replaced without the loss of any funds, while tracking transactions online reduces the threat of identity theft even more.
It also means that a balance can be checked at any time, either online or even via phone alerts if these are offered by your prepaid card provider.
In some cases, prepaid cards also carry a certain level of purchase protection, something that is not always in place if purchasing with a debit card.
As a result, it means the customer receives greater protection should their order not be received or be faulty upon delivery.
Some prepaid card deals can also offer cashback on certain purchases, providing additional discounts for serial shoppers.
If you are prone to online shopping in your spare time or on your lunch hour, then considering a prepaid card could be an option.