In case you missed it, WeSwap was featured in a great write-up on page 3 of the Times this week on some of our plans to use smart tech to make holidaying even easier for us all. Have a read, the future looks bright!
At WeSwap, we want to make sure that you can enjoy your holiday stress-free. To do so we have a few card tips and tricks to help you out along the way.
If you have already activated your card, got your PIN and loaded your account, you can skip the first part of this article and go straight to tips when using your card.
The card only works when it is activated. You can choose to:
To use your prepaid card, you will need to know your PIN number – if you have a contactless card, your first transaction still needs to be done via chip and pin. To retrieve your pin either:
We’re only humans… Mistakes happen! If you enter your PIN incorrectly more than 3 times during a transaction, your PIN will be blocked. Be sure that if the merchant response is ‘incorrect pin’ you check your PIN (by using the app or calling the phone number above). To unblock your PIN, you will need to find an ATM with the unblock PIN functionality or wait 24 hours and make sure your first transaction is withdrawing cash from an ATM.
Please note that while the PIN is blocked you can still use your card as swipe and sign (for instance in the USA) or online, contactless will not work.
It is always best to check your balance on your account before you start travelling. If there is not enough money on your account in the currency you want to pay with, your payment is going to be declined. To load your account, you can:
If you are spending outside of our 18 wallet currencies you’re ready to go. If you’re spending in our 18 wallet currencies swap your funds over to get the best rates.
Once you have loaded your account, you are ready to create a swap. This step is key if you want to get one of the 18 currencies that WeSwap offers and get the best exchange rates available.
Make sure you always choose to pay in the local currency of the country you are visiting.
Merchants can use a mechanism called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) which means you’ll get charged a commission decided by the merchant and you will be given their exchange rate instead of the one you swapped your funds over at.
WeSwap has no control over the merchant terminal so make sure you always choose to pay in the local currency of the country you are visiting and you should avoid this.
If your WeSwap card has a contactless symbol on the top left you can use it for contactless payments – yay!
Remember you can use contactless for small transactions, a larger transaction will require chip and pin. If you try to pay using contactless and the transaction is declined, try to pay via chip and pin – this will reset the contactless feature and you’ll be able to continue using it.
When you need a card to put a deposit or pre-authorisation on we’d advise not using the WeSwap card. As WeSwap is a prepaid card it can take up to 30 days for your pre-authorisation to be returned. This means for car rental deposits, hotel pre- authorisations and petrol stations, we would advise using your WeSwap card to settle the final bill but avoid using it to pay for deposits.
On your travels, you may come across an ATM or two that asks for a 6 digit pin number. Whilst this is rare it can happen. Don’t be afraid though, simply enter your normal pin and add two zeros on the end and you’ll be able to access your funds as normal. Remember to still decline any conversation rate offered and select to pay in local currency.
As a prepaid travel card, we wanted to nail using your card to make purchases and withdraw. When it comes to using your card online, we’re not quite there yet. Whilst some websites may accept our card, the WeSwap card isn’t yet 3D secure so a merchant can choose to decline the purchase. Sometimes the funds will still be taken and can take up to 14 days to be reversed. It’s best to avoid online transaction for now, don’t worry we’re working really hard on making our card 3D secure though so stay tuned!
The WeSwap card works all over the world – yay! All you need to do is keep your funds in the GBP wallet and spend when at your destination. The swap will take place as and when you spend and you’ll get the Mastercard rate for your transaction. Pretty good right? Make sure to always select to pay in the local currency and if you’re offered an exchange rate always decline.
Despite WeSwap being a prepaid card and NOT a credit card, if given the option when withdrawing, always select ‘credit’. The WeSwap card is best read when you select ‘credit’ as are most other prepaid cards.
When withdrawing in one of the 18 wallet currencies you can withdraw a maximum of £500 or equivalent every 24 hours. When withdrawing in any currency outside of our 18 wallet currencies you can withdraw £400 or equivalent ever 24 hours. Remember you still have 10 transactions per day in addition to this – that’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks, three activities and two shopping sprees.
Withdrawing £200 or more means you’ll avoid our charges. Under £200 you will be charged a small fee of £1.50 or equivalent. So our tip to save those extra pennies is withdraw a larger amount.
ATMs in the US charge. We’d love to say we have a magic fix but annoyingly we don’t. The best thing to do is tactically withdraw. Withdraw larger amounts to not be charged by us and also make sure you’re withdrawing less regularly so you avoid the ATM charges too. The US are very card friendly so you may be able to get around not withdrawing altogether, or order some travel cash before you go.
With our fancy new rate tracker, you can make sure you’re getting the best possible rate when swapping or spending. If you’re swapping your funds get an idea of the market patterns to avoid disappointment.
We now have a send money to friends feature which means you can send money directly to friends using WeSwap just as quickly as you can load or swap. Select ‘send’, the amount and your friend and that’s it, the bill is sorted!
This graph shows how much travel money costs from three main sources. Your credit/debit card will normally cost around 3.5%, a high-street bureau such as the Post Office will charge around 5% and an airport exchange – the most expensive option out there – will cost a whopping 11% for the pleasure.
One of the most frustrating things about traditional providers is their lack of clarity when it comes to pricing and fees. They often claim to charge 0% commission but really the fee is just hidden inside a poor exchange rate.