Currency cards are taking offIn two previous interviews with Caxton Fx, methods of saving on currency charges have been explained (search for ‘Caxton Fx’ on our website). Now James Hickman, Commercial Director, has been telling ITCM about the benefits that can be gained from the use of Caxton Fx prepaid Mastercard cards ®.
These were first brought out in 2007 and are now catching on. ‘Year on year we are seeing 250% growth in their usage’, James Hickman is happy to announce. ‘This is from new customers plus increasing use by existing customers.’
The cards bring multiple advantages. James summarises them under the headings of savings in costs, security and the ease of administration in managing expenses. A client company loads a currency card with a sum in the currency required. If, say, more than one currency will be needed on a trip abroad, such as euros and dollars, then a separate card can be carried for each. The currency card is a MasterCard and can be used in exactly the same way to pay for goods and services, hotel bills, restaurants, air tickets and whatever.
‘The use of a normal debit or credit card for accessing currency is likely to incur a charge of 6 to 7%. If a foreign exchange bureau is used to obtain currency,’ comments James, ‘then the bureau might charge anything up to 16% for the conversion. Often bureaux announce that they don’t charge commission, but what difference does it make if they put such a mark up on the actual rate of conversion?
‘With the Caxton Fx Euro and Dollar cards, we calculate the rate of exchange at the point when the card is loaded and our conversion is based on the interbank rate. It works out at about 2%. This represents a substantial saving if bills are being paid by an organiser for a large group of delegates.’
Security is enhanced, because if a currency card is cloned or the data accessed, a fraudster does not gain entry into a company’s bank resources. Only the residual amount of currency on a card would be at risk.
A fairly accurate assessment of charges can be budgeted for in advance and Caxton Fx provides a breakdown of how a card has been used. This makes it easy for a member of staff of a company to account for all expenditure in each currency.