Increased competition in any sector is always good for consumers. Whether it is high street retailers, supermarkets or car insurance, when new options are made available and a market expands then customers will always feel the benefits.
It appears that the Australian prepaid travel card market is the latest example of consumers coming out on top in a battle between businesses.
More companies than ever before, including big names such as Virgin and Qantas as well as some smaller operators, are competing for the custom of travellers who have never been in such a privileged position.
The new players in the market have raised the stakes and, as a result, travellers can take advantage of a wide range of benefits such as improved exchange rates and a host of new features.
The trend is only expected to continue as well, particularly as travelling to foreign destinations becomes more and more accessible with each passing year.
Consumers take advantage of a growing sector
Low-cost airlines are constantly seeking to gain a bigger piece of the action and separate governments are even planning in regards to how they can increase their airport capacity.
Reports have emerged this week of the UK government commissioning a report on the best way to grow capacity and subsequently increase the amount of people flying to and from Britain.
Options including the extension of existing runways and even building entirely new ones at places such as Gatwick and Heathrow underline how seriously the government is taking the issue.
Even though such measures may be some way off, the sector is clearly only going to undergo significant growth in the future.
It is also worth noting that consumers are increasingly savvy regarding how much ‘bang they get for their buck’ when it comes to everything from airline fees to travel insurance.
It would appear that this trend now applies to the travel card market as customers realise that they are the ones who are in a position of power. As a result, they are keen to take advantage of the numerous benefits which are becoming available in a sector that is getting more competitive every week.
If you are looking to travel abroad in the near future, it might be prudent to consider the many benefits of prepaid travel cards.
For example, they can reduce the risk of theft while on holiday as it removes the need to carry cash and it’s also a very savvy way to help you budget effectively while away.
Expert Comment: The UK travel card market is already very competitive and has been for a number of years now and this has definitely helped consumers as there are cards that provide exceptional value through free POS and free ATM withdrawals or free travel insurance and replacement cards. Some of the key players in the UK market are Caxton FX, Fair FX, my Travel Cash, Moneycorp, ICE Cashcard and Travelex. A few interesting ones like Ryanair and easyJet have also entered the market in recent year; a very healthy industry indeed – Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma is the CEO and Founder of www.prepaid365.com and a senior prepaid industry consultant. You can follow him on LinkedIn.