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Multi-currency debit cards: what are they and what are their benefits

Lower fees, ease of use, straightforward setup, compliance taken care of, and more… multi-currency debit cards come with a raft of benefits for both users and financial providers.

A multi-currency debit card is a physical or virtual card that you can use to pay for goods and services anywhere in the world and online just like a regular debit. They’re connected to a linked bank account which makes them easy for customers to manage via their banking app to select the currencies they want to use, check their spending, and see what fees and rates they’re paying. If you’re a frequent traveler or often purchase from international websites, then a multi-currency debit card will definitely benefit you.

How do multi-currency debit cards work?

Behind the scenes, multi-currency debit cards work by running complex software behind a reassuringly user-friendly interface. They usually come with better exchange rates and lower fees for both the provider and the end-user.

What’s more, multi-currency debit card providers (like Baanx!) can integrate their software into other financial services. This means that a financial provider can readily offer its customers a multi-currency debit card as part of their existing services.

On a security and compliance note, multi-currency debit cards offer the same level of security as any other credit or debit card issued by a traditional bricks-and-mortar bank. They’re regulated by the same authorities in the issuing country as regular debit cards, such as the FCA and the EU. These regulations extend to the businesses that provide multi-currency debit card services to financial providers as well.

Who can benefit from multi-currency debit cards

Let’s say you make regular or the odd international trips for business or pleasure. Having a multi-currency debit card in your wallet — or a virtual card on your smartphone — means you only have to carry the one (if that) card to buy lunch, book train tickets, check into hotels, and more in the country or countries you travel to. You can also use your multi-currency debit card to purchase from international vendors as well.

Alternatively, say you’re a financial services provider and you think your clients will benefit from using a single debit card for payments in the various countries they travel to and with the international merchants they purchase from online. Adding a multi-currency debit card to your suite of services fulfills this exact need. Customers can control their multi-currency debit card directly from their linked account and even personalise certain features like selecting what currencies they want to use and spend limits for different transaction types.

But the biggest benefit for providers and users alike is that — unlike traditional debit cards — multi-currency debit cards are designed to be used internationally and across several currencies. This means you know exactly how they work and what the fees will be without any unpleasant surprises. Financial providers usually incorporate the card fees into their existing monthly account costs or add it as a tiny increase in fees each month for users who add a multi-currency debit card to their account.

Multi-currency debit cards are a valuable service for financial providers and users

In sum, it’s easy to see why multi-currency debit cards are so attractive for financial providers and customers alike. Clients gain a valuable add-on banking service with highly competitive fees and providers, while financial providers gain an easy-to-implement add-on service and new revenue stream.

Read the multi-currency debit cards page on our website for more information about how they work and their benefits.

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