Online cash payments provider, Ukash, has launched a General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) prepaid card, supported by a mobile app that makes uploading of funds quick and easy. Putting customers in control of their money, the free smartphone app (iPhone and android) makes it easy to check transactions and balances while cardholders are out and about as well as top up their card as soon as they’ve exchanged cash for a Ukash code. Cash can also be loaded directly onto the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard at UK Post Offices.
Marking the launch, Ukash is waiving the card issuance fee until the end of April. The issuance fee – £5 and £9 respectively for the virtual and physical card – is being waived for anyone who applies for the card before the end of April 2014 and loads it with the initial minimum load of £20.
Designed for consumers who are excluded from mainstream banking and credit as well as those who want to control their spend or who are concerned about online fraud, the new Ukash Prepaid MasterCard card is available to anyone regardless of their credit status, and can be used instantly in its online form wherever MasterCard acceptance mark is displayed. Available in four currencies – GBP, EUR, PLN and USD and to residents of 29 countries – it goes to the heart of financial inclusion on a global scale.
Uniquely, there are two versions of the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard card; an online only card and a physical card. No matter which version of the card is selected, the card number and 3 digit security code are issued instantly for immediate use online as soon as the user loads funds. Customers who opt for a physical card can use the online version of their card until their physical card arrives in the post.
“The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard card is designed to break down barriers for a whole swathe of society” explained David Hunter, Chief Executive, Ukash. “From immigrant workers to under 18’s and consumers with poor credit records, there are a huge number of people who have to rely on cash as their main form of currency for day to day living. For these cash consumers, there are many aspects of society that are out of reach – simply because they don’t have a bank account or credit card. We aim to change that social exclusion with our innovative prepaid card.”
The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard card enables financial inclusion in seconds and, unlike other prepaid cards that are dependent on having access to a bank account to load money, funds can be added to the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard using a Ukash 19 digit code. This can be purchased with cash from the thousands of convenience stores and other outlets selling Ukash globally which, because they often operate outside traditional banking and retail hours, gives consumers real flexibility to load funds and then use their prepaid card just like any other debit or credit card holder. Users can also load their Ukash Prepaid MasterCard with cash at UK Post Offices or arrange for their employer to load their salary to the card each week or month.
In research conducted ahead of the launch of the new Ukash Prepaid MasterCard, it was found that the budgeting benefits of prepaid cards were particularly important to consumers. 42% said the greatest benefit of a prepaid card is the fact that they have control of their spending. And nearly a quarter (23%) said that they felt a prepaid card was particularly useful to help parents teach their children about budgeting.
The Ukash Prepaid MasterCard also addresses the need by many consumer groups to have a simple way to send money to family and friends. With the facility to have a secondary cardholder, the Ukash Prepaid MasterCard is ideal for money sharing between family members or friends. Plus the card to card transfer facility between Ukash Prepaid MasterCard holders enables expats and migrant workers to send money home at just 30p per transaction.