Mastercard, Canada's post office issue prepaid travel card
Canada Post, the country's primary postal service provider, is partnering with MasterCard to provide travelers with a contactless chip-and-PIN Cash Passport card for multicurrency payments with an eye on underbanked users.
Cash Passport will allow users to load up to seven currencies at a time, eliminating the need for travelers to carry cash or checks. The tap-and-pay card will work at millions of ATMs and at any merchant locations accepting Mastercard.
“Whether you’re a globetrotter, an exchange student, or someone who shops online from international merchants, Cash Passport is the smart and simple solution that allows you to better manage your overseas spending,” Donna Kinoshita, senior vice president of global products and solutions for Mastercard Canada, said in a Feb. 22 press release. “Together Mastercard and Canada Post are making this a winning experience for Canadians by offering cardholders the ability to purchase and reload via Canada’s largest retail network.”
The new card is being offered through collaboration with Payment Source Inc., which operates as Canada Post's partner for retail distribution, and Peoples Trust Company.
Cash Passport can be purchased using debit or cash at 2,600 Canada Post locations and reloaded at 6,000 locations or online.
Pre-loading a Cash Passport provides more control of a travel budget because it locks in foreign currency exchange rates in advance, Mastercard said. Fixed ATM fees and no transaction fees on international purchases helps monitor what has been purchased in local currency and how much is remaining on the card. Users can also manage money online, move money between currencies and check balances on cashpassport.ca.
“Adding to the convenient payment solutions available at our post offices, we are pleased to be working with Mastercard to offer the Cash Passport that will help our customers simplify their shopping at global retailers, whether online or abroad,” John Reis, general manager of retail at Canada Post, said in the release. “We are continually evaluating the changing needs of Canadians to provide them with this kind of relevant and consumer-friendly product that can be accessed at local post offices across Canada.”
If loaded with more than one currency, Cash Passport automatically selects the next available currency if a user has insufficient funds of the currency needed.
Cash Passport is not linked to a user's bank account or a bank card, making it an option for those without a banking relationship.