MasterCard Launches Prepaid Travel Card in Middle East (Dec. 17, 2012)
Dec. 17, 2012
MasterCard Worldwide is targeting upscale consumers based in the Middle East who travel frequently to different global regions with its new MasterCard Platinum Prepaid Travel Card launched this week in Bahrain. The card, issued by Al Baraka Islamic Bank and Nonoo Exchange Company, both based in Bahrain, enables customers to load up to five different currencies onto the card, including U.S. dollars, British pounds, euros, Emirati dirhams and the Bahrani dinar, with a consistent exchange rate, MasterCard said.
One of the major concerns for consumers while traveling overseas is the inconsistency of the exchange rate offered by various financial institutions, according to MasterCard. The card’s prepaid element also is a major convenience factor for frequent travelers, the company suggested. “Over the years, prepaid products have become immensely popular with consumers in the Middle East region” because of their broad acceptance in diverse environments, said Kashif Sohail, MasterCard market manager for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Pakistan and Emerging Markets. “The region’s fast-emerging affluent segment is a key target for the expansion of prepaid solutions,” he added.