Keep your finances safe and secure with Volopa
Four ways Volopa is leading the charge for better card security
One of the most common queries we get from our Volopa customers is about card safety – how, in a world of pickpocketing and online fraud can we make sure that your finances are as safe as they can be – whether online or offline? This is especially important when we’re travelling, and the tell-tale signs of scams and fraudsters are often harder to spot.
While travel blogs consistently list cities like Barcelona, Rome, London and New York as high-risk for pickpocketing, and you can find many articles that tell us how best to avoid being the victim of petty theft while travelling, you can find peace of mind by travelling with products that protect your finances even after the worst should happen.
Volopa’s multi-currency MasterCard product not only utilises MasterCard’s own in-built protections and benefits – including blocking foreign banks from charging you extra with Dynamic Currency Conversion – but incorporates a wealth of methods to keep you, and your money, secure during your travels.
1. No need to link to your bank
One of the simplest and most important safety measures offered by Volopa is that, as a prepaid MasterCard product, you can set the limits on how much of your money is available.
You can move money from your bank account to your Volopa card at the click of a button via our mobile app but, even if your card is lost or stolen, no one else can access your bank account or savings.
Our mobile app also allows you to freeze and unfreeze your card instantly with a touch, so even should your card go walkabout you don’t have to worry about it being used before you find it again.
2. Card controls
We all love being able to take the stress out of our transactions via quick Contactless payment but the easy ability for just anyone to use your card with a quick tap of a machine can be a worry if your card is lost or stolen.
Just as with your ability to freeze and unfreeze your card via your app, Volopa has introduced the ability to freeze and unfreeze your Contactless payments via your mobile app to give you added security and peace of mind.
This feature is just the beginning of how we plan to make your Card Controls more functional over the coming months, and you’ll have more control over how you interact with ATM payments, online shopping and more.
For an extra safety tip, why not freeze your Contactless payments or card until you need it – for instance during long haul flights, while in transit to your hotel, or while wandering in pickpocketing hotspots – for that added ease and security.
3. High-tech protection
As mobile technology improves, so does our ability to make sure your private and financial information is completely individual to you. Our app uses biometric ID – such as fingerprint ID – for added security. This means that, as many mobile users know, you can be confident your private information is only available to you while ensuring that you can access what you need quickly and easily.
All of our Volopa multi-currency cards also use 3DS – or 3D Secure – which is a fraud prevention technology for payment cards. This added layer of security is designed for making online purchases. When you make a payment online using your Volopa prepaid card, we may ask you to enter a one-time, six-digit passcode as part of your online purchase, which we’ll send you by SMS.
When asked for this, simply check your mobile phone and enter the passcode online to complete your payment. This helps us to verify that it’s really you making the purchase.
4. Fraud protection
Some might think that, as a prepaid card rather than a bank, products like Volopa’s multi-currency card would have less in-built protection than other cards. But in fact, Volopa offers a high standard of fraud protection equivalent to any of Mastercard’s other providers.
Not only do we utilise Mastercard 3DSecure and biometric ID as high-tech safeguards for your money, but we also offer comprehensive fraud protection to ensure that, should fraud be committed on your card, you can get your money back.
If you’re worried that fraud has been committed on your card, just contact Volopa’s customer care team, who will investigate your claim and keep you protected.
Securing the best exchange rates
Generally speaking, both banks and payments providers charge a margin, typically via a commission or a percentage-spread, for converting currencies from the funding currency (what you send them) to the payment currency (what the recipient receives). Banks are traditionally risk averse to currency movements due to the size of the portfolio of client assets they hold in multiple currencies. Any shock movement within the currency market can amount to significant losses, and in a bid to mitigate this risk, banks tend to apply higher margins.
International payments providers generally take a different approach, utilising live rates which they transact with immediately. Using this methodology, they don’t need to hold on to funds, the risk is less, and margins can therefore be much lower amounting to better exchange rates for their clients.
Just as a bank cheque takes time to deposit into an account, so does sending money from one country to another. International FX payments can often take days to reach your recipient if sent via your bank. This is because banks often use manual currency conversion processes and tend to send funds via costly legacy banking networks. If you wish to transfer funds quickly, banks may not be your best option.
Specialist payments providers have established “points-of-difference” in the international payments market through innovative solutions to enable same-day international payments using more robust platforms and security systems. Specialist payment providers tend to route international payments via newer alternative payment rails that are quick, low-cost and easy to track, meaning recipients receive their payments in full and on time, while payment initiators can stay up to date with their payment statuses.
Whilst a bank may provide familiarity, specialised payments providers can offer better FX and payments expertise, superior technology and more cost-effective exchange rates. Through the tailoring of solutions and streamlining compliance requirements, services provided are largely more client-centric and focused. This often amounts to lower fees and charges as well as a superior customer experience for their clients.