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Locked and Loaded: The Prepaid Stories

Thursday, 25 May 2017
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What if with a single card you can take on the world? WouldnÔÇÖt you like the freedom to travel and shop without the fear of losing on currency exchange rates fluctuation, overspending, theft or fraud? If you have answered yes to the two questions, then we would like to introduce you to the world of multicurrency prepaid cards, with its different stories on how life is good when you go prepaid.

The International Student

It was a memorable day for Omar on 3rd August 2016. After completing his graduation in Dubai, Omar got admission into a prestigious university in France to pursue his higher education on this day. He was excited to move to Paris for the 18-month residential programme and looked forward to living there as a student while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Europe.

Omar, however, had a few concerns on how he would manage his money in a foreign land. He had received partial funding towards his tuition fees, and the remaining fees and other living expenditure had to be borne by him, or rather his parents.

Omar was particularly worried about:

1. Getting money on time during the course of one-and-half years.

2. Handling foreign exchange and keeping track of the currency exchange rates.

3. Managing his expenses including school fees, shopping, dining, etc.

4. Carrying foreign currency in bulk which might be unsafe since he will be staying at the university accommodation and might have to share his room with other students.

5. Keeping track of the Pound Sterling, Euro and UAE Dirhams during his cross-country travels.

It was then that Omar was introduced to the concept of a multicurrency prepaid travel card during one of those farewell conversations he had had with his favourite teacher. In this case, gocash ÔÇô the multicurrency prepaid card available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). gocash features proved to be the perfect solution to all of OmarÔÇÖs concerns.

HereÔÇÖs how the multicurrency prepaid card helped Omar:

1. gocash served as a single multicurrency prepaid card which Omar used for his ATM withdrawals in different countries, point-of-sales purchases at stores, and for all his online transactions.

2. He saved on foreign exchange through gocash cardÔÇÖs exchange rate lock-in facility. Omar loaded Euros in his card when the Euro exchange rate was at its lowest and locked it. He did the same with the Pound Sterling. This enabled him to transact at the same rate whenever he used the gocash card thus saving money.

3. He even kept some backup UAE Dirhams loaded in his gocash card, and used it when ordering gifts for his dad or flowers for his mum through his UAE-based go-to online shopping sites.

4. Omar was not worried about the card getting lost or stolen since he could always call gocash customer care and get the card blocked. The currency loaded will stay intact.

5. The gocash card came with a safe and secure PIN and password which helped Omar feel safe about his money.

Having experienced the convenience and joy of managing expenses with a multicurrency prepaid card, today, Omar recommends gocash card to all his UAE friends in the student community and swears by its benefits!

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The Footloose Wanderer

Michelle is a 27 year-old investment banker in one of the top wealth management firms. On her 28th birthday, Michelle realised that those graveyard shifts at work had taken a toll on her health. So she spoke to her boss and decided to take a year-long sabbatical. After getting an approval for her long absence and after much contemplation, Michelle decided to travel around the world for the next one year.

Since this was MichelleÔÇÖs first ever solo travel, she faced the following challenges:

1. Michelle planned on travelling to eight countries and wasnÔÇÖt sure how she was going to manage so many different currencies.

2. Michelle was also worried about carrying a lot of cash on her, fearing theft and unwanted attention.

3. Using a debit card or credit card would work out expensive and confusing, what with all the exchange rate calculations.

4. Swiping credit or debit cards in a foreign country might not be safe and made Michelle wary.

5. Michelle wanted to avoid frequent trips to foreign exchange dealers to change currency, or go looking for forex outlets or worse be stuck with a bad exchange rate.

After much research, she decided to get herself a multicurrency prepaid travel card.

HereÔÇÖs how the multicurrency prepaid card helped Michelle:

1. Michelle loaded six currencies including US Dollars in her card. Since US Dollars is accepted in most countries, she carefully chose the remaining five currencies to ensure she was never short of local currencies of the countries she planned to visit.

2. Since the card was pre-loaded with all the currencies, it was safe and easy on her wallet. This solved MichelleÔÇÖs biggest challenge of carrying bulk cash or many currencies in her heavy wallet.

3. Michelle used the multicurrency prepaid card for all her needs including shopping, ATM withdrawals, online purchase of air tickets and hotel bills settlement, no matter which country she was in at the time.

4. Prepaid cards are not connected to bank accounts and they are only limited to the value loaded. This feature makes it easier to mitigate the risk of online theft.

5. Michelle loaded the currencies of her choice at an optimal time and locked-in competitive exchange rates. This helped her save greatly, for her shopping and while she shopped!

After a fabulous and refreshing I-me-Myself trip, Michelle now travels whenever she gets more than two days in hand. She even started her own travel blog in which one of her pet subjects is on savings while travelling and the star of those articles is the multicurrency prepaid card.


Frequent Business Traveller

Josh runs an export and import business. His nature of business warrants frequent visits to countries for business development and client servicing. In a year, Josh travels for at least 8 to 10 months and lives out of his suitcase. With all the travelling to multiple countries ÔÇô sometimes one after the other - Josh couldnÔÇÖt keep a track of his spending or even the exchange rates, and ultimately couldnÔÇÖt expense the costs to the company.

Being on-the-go most of the times, Josh wanted to get rid of the following:

1. Frequent visits to the forex dealers to exchange currency.

2. Losing money on forex rate fluctuations.

3. Using personal debit or credit card for hotel bookings, last minute airline purchases, etc.

4. Carrying multiple currencies and a bulky wallet when travelling to different countries in one trip.

Seeing JoshÔÇÖs challenges in managing his travel expenses, his accountant introduced him to multicurrency prepaid cards.

HereÔÇÖs how the multicurrency prepaid card helped Josh:

1. Pre-loaded the card with multiple currencies at locked-in exchange rates.

2. Ensured savings and optimised the companyÔÇÖs travel budget by leveraging the currency rate lock-in feature of the card.

3. Single multicurrency prepaid card set aside exclusively for company expenses and business travel, therefore giving much control over his expenses.

4. The multi-purpose feature of the card allowed cash withdrawals, online purchases and in-store payments.

5. With the safety and security features the card offered, Josh worried less about theft and fraud, and focused more on winning business and customers.

Josh found that multicurrency prepaid cards make travelling much more pleasant. He not only made sure that the company provided staff with these cards when they travelled on work, but also started using them for his personal travels!

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The Cautious Spender

Dev and Sunita were immigrating to a new country on a long-term work assignment. One leg of the move required them to stay in the UAE for nine months while the paperwork was formalised. During this layover period, Dev and Sunita wanted to make sure they kept their spending in check as they wanted to save as much as possible for their resettlement expenses in the new country.

Running a full-fledged household with two university-going children was challenging for Dev and Sunita, especially in a foreign land. After the first week in the UAE, Dev and Sunita realised they needed to find better ways to manage their money.

They frequently faced trouble in the following areas:

1. On top of pocket money, their children sporadically asked for extra money as they navigated through school life in a new country. It was getting difficult for Sunita to keep a track on the money given to them.

2. Dev opted to pay bills online wherever possible since his work hours were erratic and Sunita wasnÔÇÖt well versed with the local commute.

3. Dev and Sunita didnÔÇÖt want to use multiple credit cards and wanted to streamline payments.

4. Since Sunita was new to the country, she wasnÔÇÖt comfortable handling local currency and preferred a card to cash.

When Sunita went to the neighbourhood UAE Exchange branch to send money to her family back in India, she started talking to the staff and during the course of the conversation, she came to know about gocash card, its multi-usage and benefits. Sunita immediately bought a card and told Dev that she will use it to run the household.

HereÔÇÖs how the multicurrency prepaid card became a family card for Dev and Sunita:

1. Sunita pre-loaded the card with the amount, in UAE Dirhams, allocated towards household expenses. This helped her in keeping track of her spending. She also carried minimal cash and paid for her shopping and grocery purchases with the multicurrency prepaid gocash card. This empowered Sunita and she didnÔÇÖt have to ask Dev for money frequently.

2. The children were given their own gocash cards loaded with pocket money, which were topped up in intervals. This ensured that the spending was controlled and Sunita could keep a track of their withdrawals or swipes.

3. Sunita also took over the task of settling bill payments online, since gocash could be used for online transactions.

4. Dev even loaded the card with US Dollars and Euro so that whenever he needed to make any international payments related to the resettlement paperwork and visas, he didnÔÇÖt have to worry about exchange rates.

5. With the multi-use prepaid cards, Dev and Sunita could budget and manage their finances with better control and across many payment channels.

Dev and Sunita are almost at the end of their nine-month stay in the UAE. They are now strong advocates of using prepaid cards to manage household budgets, and hope that such facilities will be available in the new country that they are moving to.

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Introduced in the year 2012, Gocash is the flagship product of UAE Exchange and has enabled and empowered numerous card users in the UAE. With its dynamic features, the card became the most sought after product for many people for varied purposes. Currently the product is available in the UAE with plans of rolling out the same in other countries as well. For more information please visit,

This article was originally published on Éclat Q4 2016 edition

Last modified on Thursday, 25 May 2017 08:19