15 April 2014 – A virtual prepaid card, launched by online cash payment provider Ukash, could help 34 million1 UK shoppers to stay out of their overdraft.
The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard® has been launched to help shoppers manage their finances each month, topping up with Ukash, cash or via bank transfer. Cardholders can use it like any other debit card, using its mobile app to manage their money on the go – and avoiding the issue fee when they apply and load up with £20 in April 2014.
The card can be topped up with funds using a unique 19-digit Ukash code, purchased from thousands of convenience stores and outlets selling Ukash in 29 countries around the world. In operating outside of traditional banking and retail hours, they give consumers real flexibility to load funds and use their prepaid card just like any debit or credit card holder. Users can also load their Ukash Prepaid MasterCard using a debit card, a bank transfer or cash at UK Post Offices, or arrange for their employer to load their salary to the card each week or month.
There are two versions of the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard; an online only card and a physical card. No matter which version of the card is selected, the card number and three-digit security code are issued instantly for immediate use online as soon as the customer’s order has been completed. Customers who opt for a physical card can use the online version of their card until their physical card arrives in the post.
Ukash budgeting research found that over half (54%)2 of shoppers fall into their overdraft at least once a year – despite 84%2 saying they work to a monthly budget.
Miranda McLean, Marketing Director at Ukash, said: “Our research shows that despite best intentions, many people struggle to stick to their monthly budget. More expensive periods like holidays or Christmas, in particular, can set shoppers back and make it difficult to get back on track, leaving them open to overdraft fees and damage to their credit rating. Worryingly, over 4 million3 people are still paying off debts from Christmas 2012!
“The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard adds an extra element of control for shoppers who are sticking to a budget or getting back on top of their finances. They can only load the card up with the cash they have, but spend it with the convenience of a card. And there’s no need for credit checks, so it’s available to anyone.”
1Figure estimated, based on population size and percentage (54%)2 of population who fall into their overdraft each year – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?pageSize=50&sortBy=none&sortDirection=none&newquery=2011+Census%3A+QS102UK
2 Independent poll of 1000 respondents in February 2014, by YourSayPays
3Source Money Advice Service November 2013 (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cardsloans/article-2483271/MAS-Four-million-people-paying-cost-Christmas.html)
Notes to Editors
Ukash is the global online cash payment provider and internationally recognised e-commerce cash payment method that enables consumers around the world to use cash to shop, pay and play online safely, securely and conveniently. This secure payment method was developed to protect personal identity and financial information when making online transactions, reducing the threat of credit and debit card fraud for consumers and repudiations and charge-backs for retailers. Ukash has no age limit, so consumers of all ages can make the most of safe payment online.
Ukash codes are purchased with cash in retail outlets such as shops, petrol stations and kiosks, and issued online from the company’s website. The unique 19 digit codes can then be used to pay directly on any of the thousands of websites that accept Ukash transactions worldwide, or loaded onto prepaid cards and e-wallets.
Established in 2001 under the holding company Smart Voucher Ltd, Ukash® has grown to more than 460,000 physical points of purchase, and is available in over 50 countries around the world in 6 continents.
Ukash is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The maximum single value allowed is £200/€250 and the maximum amount that can be held by an individual customer is £1,000/€1,250 – equivalent values in other currencies apply to both sums.
The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard is issued by Prepaid Financial Services Limited pursuant to a license from MasterCard International Incorporated. Prepaid Financial Services Limited is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 900036. Registered Office: 36 Carnaby Street London, W1F 7DR.