Virtual prepaid card launched by Ukash

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A virtual prepaid card, launched by online cash payment provider Ukash, could help 34 million UK shoppers to stay out of their overdraft, according to the payments provider.

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 GBP20 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%) 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.”

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