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Singaporeans don’t activate cards before overseas travel

Anuradha Shukla | Sept. 24, 2013
Study shows consumers are aware but don’t know how to activate their cards.

Visa and The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) are encouraging consumers in Singapore to activate their debit and credit cards before overseas travel. 

A joint survey by ABS and Visa indicates that 24 percent of consumers are aware of the measure but don’t know how to activate their cards.

Twenty-one percent of Singapore consumers don’t know that they have to activate their debit and credit cards for overseas magnetic stripe-based purchases.

Both ABS and Visa aim to find out if consumers know that magnetic stripe-based transactions for point-of-sale (POS) payments at overseas merchants will be blocked from October 2013.

“Consumer education for the payments industry is a shared responsibility. Visa praises the efforts of The Association of Banks in Singapore and our bank partners to educate cardholders,” said Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei. “The survey results show that awareness is growing, however, we can do more to make sure cardholders aren’t caught out when they’re overseas.”

Avoiding inconvenience 

It is inconvenient for travellers to go overseas and then not be able to access their card or account in order to make purchases.

Consumers should know how to activate their card before travelling especially if they are aware of the need to activate their cards for personal security.

The ABS recognises the need to educate consumers and has joined hands with Visa to educate them. This is important as over a third of young consumers in Singapore (18-34 years old) said that they are not aware they should activate their debit and credit cards for overseas use.

Customers, particularly younger cardholders, should contact their banks before they travel overseas lest they should face trouble later. Visa is encouraging all its cardholders to contact their banks to get more information about activating their cards.

“While most customers are aware of the need to activate their cards for personal security, it is also essential that all cardholders understand how to activate their card before travelling,” said Ong-Ang Ai Boon, Director of The Association of Banks in Singapore. “The ABS and our stakeholders like Visa will continue to educate consumers on the benefits and need to do so.” 

 

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