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7 Tips To Travel Cashless & Safe

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Mastercard offers seven tips on travelling cashless and keeping your money safe.

With the growing convenience and availability of digital payment options, going cashless has become an inevitable phenomenon not just in Singapore, but throughout Southeast Asia (SEA).

According to Mastercard’s latest mobile shopping survey, the data reveals that Singaporeans are some of the top adopters of digital wallets in SEA. When it comes to mobile shopping, second to Singapore is Vietnam, having one of SEA’s fastest mobile shopping growth rates.

Going cashless when travelling certainly has its perks, and this includes saving the hassle of fumbling with different currencies or worrying about theft when carrying large amounts of cash. Many SEA countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are increasingly adopting new payment technologies, offering travellers easier transactions and greater convenience.

To keep your vacation hassle and worry-free, Mastercard offers several tips to help you keep your money safe while travelling:

Before leaving for your trip


  • Let your bank know your travel plans


To avoid triggering any fraud alerts, be sure to notify your bank where you will be travelling to and how long you will be there for. This rules out the possibility of having a legitimate transaction declined because the bank thinks someone has stolen your card. You can also deactivate your card for overseas use after returning from your trip.


  • Sign up for SMS transaction alerts


If your bank offers transaction alerts via SMS/text messages, be sure to sign up for it as SMS alerts can keep you informed about your transactions, 24/7.


  • Bring along your bank-registered mobile phones


Most banks and merchants have in place a technology protocol known as SecureCode to secure online transactions, and protect you from any unauthorised use when you shop online, wherever you are. As a one-time-password/PIN (OTP) is delivered to you via SMS, it is best to bring a phone with the bank-registered mobile number along with you when transacting online.


  • Keep the contact numbers of your banks handy


Before setting off for your holiday, it is good to know which bank number to call when you’re overseas. As a precaution, it is useful to keep a note of bank contact numbers separate from your credit card and wallet. Every bank has its own safeguards in place for your peace of mind, and it is recommended to talk to your bank and be aware of them.

While Travelling


  • Take advantage of credit card safeguards


Using your debit or credit card instead of cash when making purchases can be advantageous. Money spent fraudulently on a card has a higher chance of being returned compared to getting your cash stolen. Furthermore, you can get on liability protection policies, purchase protection, and instantaneous cancellation should you misplace your card.


  • Stay alert while using the ATM


While using an ATM overseas, be sure to check that it displays international scheme logos that certify its affiliation to these alliances. ATMs and issuers from these groups provide travel-focused safeguards and best practices to keep your money safe whilst abroad. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or unusual devices at ATMs before inserting your card. In addition, don’t forget to cover the pin-pad with your hand when entering your details.

After returning from your trip


  • Review your purchases


Make it a good habit to scan through your payments history on-the-go and the moment you return from your holiday. Access your transactions through your bank’s mobile application or a desktop browser (ensure that it’s through a private Wi-Fi network). Should you come across a suspicious transaction, be sure to inform your bank immediately.

For more information on payment safety and security, visit here.




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