I did not think it was possible, but this week, two of my bank cards were skimmed and used fraudulently at the same time. The banks put a freeze on my accounts, and I was told to wait five working days for my new cards.
I had no real access to cash, and over the weekend too, plus I was also attending a good friend’s bridal shower and needed money for gifts and the event. Fortunately I could still make EFTs, and ordered a prepaid card product, Paycard (www.paycard.co.za)
The card arrived in a day and I did my EFT into the card at 4pm on Friday afternoon. To my surprise it was available for loading on Saturday morning. I was excited to have access to cash after going three days without. The card was loaded and I was able to hit the shops and withdraw money. The prepaid card was slightly expensive, costing R16 per load, but the point-of-sales fees were free.
After the weekend my bank cards still hadn’t arrived so I topped up the prepaid card. This proved to be a real deal saver as I needed to apply and pay for a visa at the UK embassy. I needed the visa urgently and could not wait the usual three weeks for it to arrive.
To expedite your visa you have to pay an addition R695, so I went to the visa office with the cash. To my surprise they refused to take the cash and would only accept a debit or credit card product.
Thankfully I had my prepaid card, and could use it. The alternative would have been to rebook my appointment at the UK Embassy, and run the risk of not receiving the visa in time for my work trip.
I always knew prepaid cards had huge benefits, but now I’m truly thankful!