x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Best Buy: Visa card offers financial freedom without the red tape

The Just for You Visa card offers pre-paid line of credit, allowing consumers cashless freedom without all the paperwork.

Pre-paid credit cards are taking hold in the UAE, with many residents embracing the concept of money they can actually spend rather than money they can borrow - usually at a high interest rate.

The shift towards pre-paid credit cards also means consumers are managing their money more responsibly and staying in control of their budgets.

But applying for a pre-paid credit card through a bank still requires a range of documents, such as copies of your passport and visa.

There is one pre-paid credit card, however, that is available without the red tape: the Just for You Visa card.

Issued by Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Finance, the financial services division of the Majid Al Futtaim Group, the card was launched in the UAE four months ago.

"Before launching the Just for You pre-paid card, we understood that a cash culture is prevalent in this region," says Rasool Hujair, the chief executive of MAF Finance.

"We saw it as a compelling new cashless option as well as an affordable way to use 'plastic' for people who don't qualify for or prefer not to use a conventional credit card or a debit card.

"But what we have found, through speaking with customers after thousands of cards have been sold and used for purchasing in the last four months, is that consumers are increasingly taking advantage of the card for personal use."

Mr Hujair says the Middle East has experienced an increase in credit-card fraud since the financial crisis. According to ACI Worldwide, the UK-based payment provider, Dubai is one of the world's top five markets for credit-card fraud threats to consumers.

"This card is a significantly less risky way to shop online on Amazon and other e-tailers, use PayPal, or visit the iTunes store without exposing themselves to fraud and identity theft," says Mr Hujair.

According to Visa, the global pre-paid credit card market is estimated to be worth US$6.2 trillion (Dh22.7tn), and is forecast to rise to $7.2tm next year.

The Just for You Visa card can't be used at ATMs, is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase and can be loaded in increments from Dh100 to Dh3,500. It is available from 150 outlets in the UAE, including ENOC and EPPCO service stations, Al Ghurair Exchange and Carrefour.

The card is protected by Dynamic CVV technology, which generates a different SAFE code each time the card is used for online purchases.

For more information, go to www.maffinanceprepaid.com/html/home.html.

fglover@thenational.ae