A new concept is targeting businesses and entrepreneurs with the first prepaid Mastercard and multi-currency account offering 14 currencies on a single card at ‘spread free’ exchange rates.
This means customers receive the live market rate, the price Centtrip (the firm behind the card) pays for the currency. They can use Sterling, Euros or USD to load their account by debit cards or by making a bank transfer then convert across all 14 currencies spread-free.
Analysis of industry data by Centtrip reveals UK businesses take over 6.8 million trips abroad spending as much as £4.7 billion whilst on these, and the travel money business estimates they pay around £94 million in foreign exchange spreads.
This is because its new research reveals the average foreign exchange spread on credit cards, debit cards and prepaid currency cards is over 2%.
Businesses using Centtrip’s new card can manage their accounts via a smartphone app or online through a multi-currency travel account. With no limit to the account balance, the Centtrip Corporate card also allows individual daily card balances of up £50,000, significantly higher when compared to £5,000 or £6,000 for most prepaid currency cards.
Customers pay one fixed annual fee of £10 and 0.5% of the value of funds loaded to their account. Thereafter they can buy foreign currency from Centtrip at authentic 0% rates from the live market, as much as they need and as often as they want.
New research from financial services research company MoneyComms, which was commissioned by Centtrip, reveals that for the Euro, the average foreign exchange spread on credit cards and debit cards is 2.4% and 2.42% respectively. For prepaid currency cards, the corresponding figure is 2.59%.
Looking at six different scenarios for spending between £1,500 and £150,000 in Euros and using ATMs abroad, MoneyComms found for the lowest value example the savings from using Centtrip when compared against the average cost of using UK debit, credit or FX cards was £22.11, £29.97 and £19.6 respectively. The corresponding savings on its £50,000 Euro scenario were £1,011.9, £1,085.6 and £975.95, and for the £150,000 case study, they were £4,007.88, £4,461.44 and £4,154.15.
The research also applied the same scenarios to US Dollar transactions and similar savings from using Centtrip were identified.
Brian Jamieson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Centtrip said: “We are not here to simply challenge the banks; we are here to challenge businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers to find a better way. To introduce a whole new dimension to the business travel money, banking and payment card experience.”
Tony North, Director and Co-Founder at Centtrip said: “We are looking to revolutionise both the corporate and consumer space with refreshingly transparent and fairer pricing alongside effective and intuitive account management. We want to redefine how people and businesses buy their travel money by pioneering a better, customer focused way to avoid the perils of inflated foreign exchange rates – anywhere between 2% and 9% across other card providers, banks and bureau de change.
“We provide our customers the very same rate of exchange at which we buy the currency – spread free.”
Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms said: “The new Centtrip card is very competitive. It offers a simple low cost tariff and multiple currencies, and even though it is designed for frequent users, my calculations prove that it is also a good travel companion for those who only venture overseas a couple of times a year.”
In addition to spread free exchange rates, no charge for point-of-sale transactions in the UK or abroad and competitive international ATM fees, Centtrip’s card also offers the heritage and confidence of the MasterCard brand. This means it’s accepted at over 34 million locations and 2.1 million ATMs worldwide.