Archives For October 2013

It’s been eight years since the processing of the first MasterCard shopping centre gift cards in South Africa and Tutuka staff celebrated in true birthday fashion, blowing out candles and cutting a cake.

In 2005, Tutuka launched South Africa’s first prepaid MasterCard. This now opened new opportunities for shopping centres and meant that they could have their own shopping centre gift cards with their own centre branding and the card could be used at any store within the shopping centre.

The card was then launched at five shopping centres around South Africa. These were particularly selected because of their significance in size and distribution around the country. Tutuka, together with Standard Bank, MasterCard and Altech supported these cards.

Today there are approximately 50 shopping centres around South Africa that use the prepaid MasterCard gift cards.

“Having launched the very first open loop gift cards in South Africa 8 years ago when the concept was not known, and watching it grow to a stage where these cards are issued at most shopping centres and by corporates is a proud achievement,”  said Tutuka’s Director of New Business and Marketing, Drisha Nair.

“We could not have accomplished this without the help of our partners Standard Bank, MasterCard and Altech. The partnership has resulted in the largest footprint of MasterCard gift cards issuance across South Africa.”

Here’s to a eight great and very successful years and many, many more to come in the future.

 

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Tutuka’s Director of New Business and Marketing, Drisha Nair, lights the candles to the 8th year celebratory cake. After all, It’s not a celebration without a cake and candles

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Let’s hope that Tutuka’s Chief Technical Officer, Shaun Hodgkiss, wished for many more successful years to come

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Tutuka CEO, Rowan Brewer, did the honours and cut the cake

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As part and parcel of our weekly bank rewards programme reviews, this week’s Weview Wednesday looks at the Nedbank Greenbacks Rewards Programme. With the festive season rapidly making its way to our pockets, what better way to spend than to be rewarded for your spending? We’ve already looked at the Standard Bank U-Count Rewards; the Absa Rewards Programme, FNB eBucks and now let’s see what the Nedbank Greenbacks Programme has to offer its clients.

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How it works?

Pro’s:

  • Joining Nedbank Greenbacks Rewards is quick, easy and free
  • You can link up to 10 credit or cheque cards to this account at no additional fee and gain Nedbank Greenbacks on your accumulated spend on all cards
  • Nedbank Greenbacks never expire allowing you to save your points towards those rewards you’ve always wanted
  • The balance on your Nedbank Greenbacks account is updated on a daily basis and you will receive quarterly statements to inform you of your balance
  • Spend your Nedbank Greenbacks either on their online shop or by calling 086- 555 111 or 0860 555 222 for Nedbank Personal Relationship Banking clients or 0860 111 263 for Nedbank Private Wealth Clients and provide them with all the relevant details

Con’s:

  • If you do not spend on your Nedbank card for five months or more, your Nedbank Greenbacks account is considered dormant and you will lose those points
  • You can only apply to reopen your Nedbank Greenbacks account three months thereafter, and your forfeited Greenbacks will be reinstated in full
  • Nedbank Greenbacks are only earned on eligible card spend which excludes cash withdrawals, casino chip purchases, fuel purchases, finance and other card charges, fees or taxes levied by Nedbank or the government, the purchase of travellers cheques or other negotiable instruments, garage card transactions, budget account installments and interest, insurance premiums and internet transfers or payments

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Pink, most certainly was not the colour of sissies as thousands of people came out in masses this past Sunday to walk in solidarity at the 2013 Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon.

Promoting the notion that ‘Early Detection Saves Lives’, the annual walkathon is a crusade which is walked by many who are in support of those either suffering from cancer, those who have lost the battle to cancer and those who have survived the illness.

The Tutuka team came to the party again this year, donning our pink and white t-shirts, a positive attitude and big smiles. There’s nothing quite like starting your Sunday morning off with a 5km walk, and with our crazy bunch, it sure was entertaining and the best part of it all was that it was all done in aid of a good cause.

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Our numbers may have started off small at first, but Team Tutuka was as enthusiastic as ever to get the show on the road and start walking.

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On your marks, get set, GO!! Team Tutuka proved that a smile really does go a long way, the 5km walk seemed like a breeze with Tutukans full of smiles from the get go

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Even the tiny Tutukans came along and showed off what great sports they were

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A Tutuka totem pole? What’s a team without the team work?

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Pink was the new black at Sunday’s walk as avid walkers dressed up and pulled out all the stops to show just how supportive they were of the cause

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Even among the crowds of walkers, Team Tutuka stood out from the rest, walking kilometer by kilometer with ease

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We did it! Barely breaking a sweat, Team Tutuka made it to the end, all smiles still intact

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What’s a team event without a victory meal to seal the deal? After a fun walk, Team Tutuka enjoyed a well-deserved lunch with our very own Tutuka waiter

With a good spirit, a good team, great attitudes and a hearty lunch, it’s safe to say that Team Tutuka did their part in fighting for the cause of cancer. Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon, see you again next year!

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We read about them in newspapers, magazines, see them on our TV screens and now some have even crept into our wallets.

If you thought celebrities were only seen through the media, think again as more and more celebs are endorsing their very own prepaid cards.

Prepaid cards are great options for those who are “unbanked” or who can either not afford bank charges, or those who simply choose not to have bank accounts but want an option of not having to carry cash on hand. And it seems that quite a few celebs are riding on the prepaid bus, and charging big costs at it too.

Previously we blogged about the launch of teenage heartthrob, Justin Bieber’s own “SpendSmart” prepaid card.

Bieber has used his celebrity status and his clear popularity among teens and tweens to launch a prepaid card to serve their needs. The card charges its owner $3.95 per month as well as an extra $1.50 per ATM cash withdrawal. While you may wonder why a teen would need a prepaid card when their expenses consist mainly of entertainment costs? It’s possible that the “Belieber” fan club would go to any lengths to make their loyalty to him known.

Similarly, other celebs like tatooed, bad boy, Lil Wayne, have also been included in the trend. The name may come as no surprise, as the rapper has launched his very own “Young Money” prepaid card. This card comes with a cost of  $4.95 to reload, a $2 charge to use at an ATM, and there is also a $3.95 monthly maintenance fee.

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Retired he may be, but former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, Magic Johnson, also launched his own prepaid card. The “MAGIC Card”  has a $4.95 setup fee and includes other costs such as a monthly fee of $4.95, a bank teller fee of $0.50 and a cost of another $4.95 for adding cash on to your card at a retail store, as well as other costs.

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Other celebs on the prepaid card list include the likes of American businessman and Def Jam hip-hop label co-founder, Russell Simmons with his “RushCard”, as well as American author, motivational speaker and financial advisor, Suze Orman with her “The Approved Card”. Other popular celeb prepaid cards include the “Myplash” series of prepaid cards, which have nearly 100 different designs from movie stars to athletes, cartoons and musicians and are aimed mainly at teens. Some “Myplash”  cards have also included So So Happy, Skelanimals, Paul Frank, Emily Strange, Plain White Ts, Rich Boy, Flo Rida, surfer Kassia Meador and the characters from the Twilight movies.

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While some celebs have been proven successful in their prepaid card endeavours, others haven’t had as much luck. Among those include the sister trio of Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian. The “Kardashian Kard”, which didn’t last a month, was discontinued and heavily criticized for its hefty fees and charges which included a purchase fee of $99.95 inclusive of the first 12 months’ fees and charging $7.95 as a monthly fee thereafter. Other fees also included ATM withdrawal fees, ATM inquiry fees, Point of Sale fees, cancellation fees, replacement fees and many more.

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So there you have it. It seems like you don’t only need the media to see the faces of your most loved celebs, now they’re simply a wallet and a swipe away.

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With just under two months until Christmas, now is the time when everyone is trying to make the most of their money. Christmas season, undeniably, is the time when a lot of cash is spent, whether it be on gifts, party planning, big lunches and even holidays and if you can gain rewards on your spending, then why not? Previously we’ve looked at the various rewards programmes offered by different banks, from Standard Bank’s UCount Rewards to the Absa Rewards and this week we take a look at FNB’s eBucks programme

How it works?

  • All you need to qualify as an eBucks earner is to be a qualifying FNB or RMB Private Bank account holder
  • Join online on the eBucks website.
  • Earn eBucks every time you use your FNB  or RMB card, whether you’re buying groceries, filling up your car or shopping online
  • When you use your bank card at an eBucks partner, you earn more eBucks from the partner as well
  • When you spend, it’s up to you to decide if you want to pay for your purchase in full with eBucks or if you want to pay partly in eBucks and partly with your FNB or RMB Private Bank account. This means you can spread out your eBucks over many purchases or use them all at once
  • Save money by spending your eBucks and get a discount on your purchase
  • The better you bank, the more you get for managing certain aspects of your banking on things like a home loan, personal loan or investment
  • You can get discounts of up to 40% when you buy any of the lifestyle products in the eBucks Shop or book your travel arrangements through eBucks Travel

Pro’s:

  • Joining eBucks Rewards is quick, easy and free
  • eBucks never expire allowing you to save your eBucks towards that big buy that you’ve had your eye on
  • eBucks has a dedicated contact centre. If you are having a problem registering, call the eBucks contact centre on 087 320 3200
  • Earn points every time you swipe, anywhere

Con’s:

  • eBucks can not be exchanged for or redeemed as cash
  • When purchasing discount items, they can only be fully purchased using eBucks

Travel just got easier

shanaazp —  October 22, 2013 — Leave a comment

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A few years ago, I went travelling across Europe as part of a Contiki tour.

Travelling to 10 different countries in 16 days, it was quite the adventure – from meeting new people to discovering new places.

As if learning the different cultures, languages and foods wasn’t enough, getting a grip of all the different currencies, including Pounds, Euro’s and Swiss Francs, was another challenge on its own.

Amidst all the up and down, the adventure and the fun, the last thing anyone would want on a holiday like this was the worry of not having enough cash, or not having enough cash in the right currency, especially while travelling to so many different countries.

Constantly having to draw cash at the ATM’s, or using my South African ATM cards to swipe, having to carry cash with me, or even having to find a Bureau de Change in every new country proved to be a shlep and often very costly. Thankfully, with the passing of time, also came the passing of older travelling trends and the introduction of new ones.

If only I knew then what I know now, I would have gone with the option of using the Standard Bank TravelWallet.

The card is a quick, easy and convenient way of paying for goods or doing transactions while anywhere abroad, providing you with peace of mind.

TravelWallet is a prepaid MasterCard that’s as simple to use as any other ATM and payment card.

Swipe your card wherever you see the MasterCard sign. You can also withdraw money at any ATM bearing the Cirrus or MasterCard logo, giving you access to your money wherever you are in the world, at any time.

The great thing about this product is that it is available in Euros, US Dollars, Pound Sterling and Australian dollars and no matter which currency you get your card issued in, it works across currencies and you can draw money in the currency of the country that you are visiting.

If you thought things couldn’t get any better, think again because the Standard Bank TravelWallet also allows you to keep track of your account and ensures that you are notified every time you use your card by registering to get an SMS, alerting you of your card usage. With this product, you can also have access to a free online statement.  For more on these services, visit www.standardbank.co.za/travelwallet and click on TravelWallet account status.

TravelWallet have covered all their bases to ensure that your money is safe. So even though losing or having your card stolen could be a problem, your card can be stopped and replaced as soon as you have reported it by calling their lost card call centre on 0800 020 600 from South Africa or +27 11 299 4114 while abroad.

You also have the guarantee of a  fixed interest exchange rate if you use the card in the same currency as that loaded on your card and even if you run out of money while abroad, your TravelWallet card can easily be topped up.  As a keen traveller, all you need to do is make your way to a Standard Bank foreign exchange outlet before you leave on your trip where you can arrange all your necessities and fill out an application form.

Get a TravelWallet and enjoy the safer and most convenient way of paying abroad. Now you can concentrate more on planning your trip and travelling the world, cutting out any unnecessary stress. The TravelWallet will definitely be the answer to my cash crisis during future travels.

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If I were a concert…

shanaazp —  October 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

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Excitement built up this past weekend as the Barbados-born beauty, Rihanna, hit Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium stage on Sunday as part of her Diamonds World Tour.  I was one of the over 67000 people in the sold out stadium fortunate enough to experience the singer perform live.

Among all the dancing, the hectic crowds and the long queues at the different bars, I will admit,  it was tough to keep track of you cash, cellphones and other valuables and, as a result, some of my friends found themselves in the unfortunate predicament of having some of their valuables pick-pocketed or stolen.

Going to the concert, the last thing I wanted to do was lug around my handbag but it was something I had to do to avoid having to carry my cash on me, especially because I had no pockets and having cash is a must because of the drinks bars and food stalls available.

That got me thinking, how could we at Tutuka make the concert experience more pleasurable for those attending, without the worry of losing their cash through the events of the night?

Thinking back to when I was a hotel or even when I was a coffee shop, I considered the ways in which Tutuka’s closed loop prepaid bouquet could benefit me if I were a concert.

As a concert organiser, I could benefit greatly from Tutuka’s online self-service option that allows the creation of instant closed loop prepaid accounts.

So now, instead of concert goers carrying cash on them at the concert, I could issue them with prepaid cards or codes printed on wrist bands which they could swipe at the bars or food stations, which allows them to control how much money they want to spend at the concerts and avoid the risk of having their cash stolen.

So how would I go about this?

  • Firstly, I would visit the Tutuka website where I would sign up for the “Instant Prepaid Accounts of Any Type” option

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  • I would then complete my sign up/log in details

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  • From there, I can create, load and redeem closed loop* prepaid card accounts for whenever concert goers book their tickets

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  • And Voila!  The prepaid process is both easy and beneficial with Tutuka

Now as a concert organiser, through this process, I can also issue prepaid drinks or food vouchers to ticket buyers as part of competitions or as complimentary gifts, making any concert just that more enjoyable for you

*closed loop cards are those issued by a specific merchant and can only be redeemed at that same merchant.