Saturday, June 28, 2008


Pre-paid cash card is a card that has similar function as a credit card, but the only difference is a certain amount of money must be deposited or reloaded before it can be used. It is better known as a stored-value card that gives the consumer the ability to purchase the products and services by just swapping the card at the counter. Basically, a prepaid card, limits consumer’s spending by the amount of money that has been loaded onto the card. It is a good way to keep track of our spending so that we don’t overspend. Whenever, a consumer make a purchase with the pre-paid card, the purchase amount will be deducted from the card balance. A consumer can add more money whenever the balance runs low because he or she can’t spend more than the balance left in the card. Infact, a pre-paid cash card is very convenient as a consumer no need to carry cash with them.

An example of pre-paid card widely used in Malaysia is Touch 'n Go which was used to pay the highway toll payment. It is very convenient for highway user as they don’t have to go through the long queue congestion at toll plazas. Users just need to tab the card on the sensor and the amount will be automatically deducted. User can reload the card at many places such as toll plazas, train stations, Automated Teller Machines, and Cash Deposit Machines.

Nowadays, touch 'n Go card usage becoming wider as it can be used for parking services, public transport, theme park and cashless payment at retail outlets. Another extension of Touch’n Go card is Smart Tag which has slightly advanced technology whereby the card is inserted into reader device installed in the vehicle for fully non-stop payment at toll plazas. All you have to do is just drive through the toll and the sensor will automatically read the device installed in the vehicle. More on Touch n Go...

Another foreign example of pre-paid cash card is the Octopus cash card used in Hong Kong. Basically, the application of this card is similar to Touch’n Go card. The people in Hong Kong use this card to pay public transportation fees whereby it only take a couple of seconds and even easier as they no need to carry coins(Yes!it is the card that you always see in HK drama). Octopus card can also be used in some retail shops that accept this card, such as convenience stores, supermarkets or even restaurants. The user only need to wave the card over the Octopus Reader (even if it's in your wallet or handbag), payments will be deducted instantly (provided there is enough money in the card). The reader will also show the new balance of the Octopus Card. It is very convenient to use Octopus cash card as it can be purchased from any public transportation company's customer service centre, such as MTR's or KCR's and infact, can top-up the card easily.

Some other, country’s pre-paid cash card are Coinstar prepaid debit card in Canada, Advance Visa prepaid card in America, Just Cash Maestro prepaid card in West Yorkshire and ACE Cash Express prepaid card at United States. In conclusion pre-paid cash card is gaining its popularity among other countries and there is no risk for the user to get themselves into debt as it has no credit or overdraft facility.


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