Prepaid Cards Overtake Travellers Cheques at Travelex | Prepaid365

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11 October 2010

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New figures reveal prepaid currency cards are outselling travellers’ cheques by 70 to 1 as Brits get more savvy when it comes to overseas spending, according to Travelex.

Additional research commissioned by Mastercard forecast the Europe prepaid market to swell by 27 per cent each year.

Prepaid currency cards, developed to offer more convenient and secure foreign currency allow users to make cash withdrawals and purchases abroad, have proven popular worldwide since their introduction by Travelex in 1996

Travellers’ cheques on the other hand appear destined for extinction as the number of Brits using them as their main method of overseas spending halved in the last year alone.

The news comes as the global foreign exchange specialist on Friday celebrated a record £1 billion in sales of its Cash Passport™ prepaid currency card in 2010.

A reload in Wangaratta, Australia, tipped the balance over the £1 billion mark, which represents a 20 per cent increase on the full year turnover for 2009.

This follows the sale of the one millionth Cash Passport last month and a record summer trading period.

Travelex, the only global provider of prepaid cards, sells Cash Passports in 10 currencies including British Pounds, Euros, South African Rand Japanese Yen as well as US, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore Dollars. The card is sold in 22 markets globally to leisure and business travellers.

Divisional Managing Director Mark Horgan noted that there had been tremendous growth in demand for the product as users become more savvy about their travel money.

‘What we’re seeing is that customers want an easier and smarter solution to carrying their travel money. A prepaid currency card offers the same, if not greater level of security as a travellers’ cheque, without the associated hassle and are accepted in over 24 million locations worldwide. Other benefits also appeal to smart travellers including the ability to plan your budget ahead of travelling, locking in the rates at the time of load or reload and a 24/7 global emergency assistance service.

‘This year alone, sales of our Cash Passports are up by over 50% globally boosted by increased demand as well as expansion into new markets, including the Netherlands and France. In particular, the UK and Brazil are recording incredible growth of over 90% respectively.

‘The World Cup in South Africa, where there is a currency restriction in place, also helped boost sales. Being limited to a relatively small amount of Rands meant the card offered a practical solution for fans.

‘Australia currently leads the way, representing over a third of total cards sold, followed by the UK and Brazil’

Globally to date, the most popular currency cards are the US Dollar (38%) and Euro at (35%). Cash Passport cards have been used in 197 countries across the globe, with the US and UK proving the most popular destinations for spending on Cash Passports.

Horgan adds, ‘This is a tremendous milestone for our business in what continues to be a period of rapid growth and development. Moving forward we will continue to expand into new markets into 2011 as well as launching new product developments in existing markets, including online and mobile applications, Chip & PIN migration and other innovative technologies, which we look forward to sharing in the future.’

The Cash Passport is available in selected Travelex stores and online as well as through partners including Thomas Cook, Tesco, Asda, Australia Post, Flight Centre, The Co-Operative Travel, Sainsbury’s as well as major banks in the UK, Australia, United States, Brazil, Japan and South Africa. To find out where to purchase a Cash Passport, visit

For further information please contact:
0207 895 4236


  • Prepaid cards outselling travellers’ cheques by 70 to 1
  • Travelex reports £1 billion Cash Passport sales for 2010

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