Avoiding high interest rates on credit cards is a goal of most consumers these days. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use a prepaid credit card.
There's quite a few on the market in the Emirates, most of which are offered by banks, but Majid Al Futtaim Finance has this week launched another two.
The LoadnShop and MyNetCard are prepaid Visa cards that don't require a bank account, minimum salary or a lengthy application process. They are available at a range of over-the-counter outlets, such as petrol stations, foreign exchange houses and Carrefour.
Best of all, they are interest free and can be used by consumers online, during their travels or to transfer funds to other card holders.
"We're pleased to introduce these prepaid cards to our portfolio of products to empower people who do not see the credit card as a product of choice or unable to get one, while at the same time making internet purchases - which is increasing in popularity - more safe and secure," says Rasool Hujair, the chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Finance.
"The LoadnShop and MyNetCard prepaid Visa cards are global cards, designed for the UAE resident."
The LoadnShop card can be loaded with funds at the point of purchase and can be used where Visa cards are accepted. "It works like a credit card but without interest rates, making it universally appealing to a large number of residents in the UAE who want flexibility and security of payment," Majid Al Futtaim Finance says.
The MyNetCard can be used for internet purchases, such as booking flights and music downloads, while the cards can be authorised for use in other countries, adding another layer of security for international purchases.
According to a report published by Visa and Interactive Media in Retail Group International, online spending in the Emirates last year came in at just under US$2 billion (Dh7.35bn), or about 60 per cent of total GCC e-commerce sales.
For more information, go to www.mafprepaid.com.
Standard Chartered Bank has stepped up its support of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Emirates by offering the SME Business Essentials account.
The UK- and Hong Kong-listed lender says the new account requires customers to maintain an average monthly balance of Dh500,000 and provides customers with cash-management services to maximise working capital efficiency that includes payments and collections services.
"SMEs are key to economic diversification and as a customer-focused bank, we have been developing services and products that cater to their specific business needs," says Sadia Saeed, the head of SME banking at Standard Chartered.
"We have identified an increasing need for trade finance, foreign exchange, term deposits and treasury services among our clients. The SME Business Essentials account is designed to provide financial solutions and access to the world's fastest-growing markets across the bank's footprint."
Check out www.standardchartered.ae for more information.