Last week bmobile launched a Visa prepaid card as part of their mobile money push. Mobile money is useful especially for the convenience and underbanked. Ordinarily people will want 1) even lower entry requirements 2) less sign up steps and 3) no monthly fee and less fees, similar to what exists in other countries. My observation is that if you tell people why something is done and what they stand to lose if it is not done they are more open to the process. Questions like why you need my ID? Why you need my bill? Is it that we need to lobby for changes in the law? Is it that the fees would be higher to offset greater risks? Is it for security reasons?
This is a commendable first step and I anticipate future competition in this space. Two key features of this offering is that no proof of income is required and it uses chip and pin technology. On a related and personal note, I avoid credit and loans, I only have a small amount of money on my prepaid card as needed and I look out for secure and trusted websites. One way to learn more is by asking questions. Below are my questions and their answers. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Why are forms of ID required? Also why not just one form of ID?
The bmobile Visa Prepaid Card is a financial product and as such is subject to Know Your Customer guidelines which the Central Bank of T&T requires for any financial product of this nature being provided by local financial institutions.
What protections are in place in case of stolen card data and misuse?
The bmobile Visa Prepaid Card is the first Chip and Pin Prepaid Visa Card in Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore all of the advanced security associated with CHIP and PIN payment cards are provided by the bmobile Visa Prepaid Card. This feature thereby mitigates against fraudulent transactions. There is also real time updates via the app allowing customers to view all transactions being conducted.
In the case of transaction disputes or lost/stolen cards, reports can be channeled to Republic Bank’s 24/7 Call Centre Support 1-868-627-3348
Are there limits to how much money can be loaded and used (over a period of time)?
The minimum amount that can be loaded is TT$100
The maximum load amount for the month is TT$3200
Does the exchange rate apply at time of load or purchase and who determines the rate?
The bmobile Visa Prepaid Card currency is in TT dollars. As such our cards are loaded in TT dollars and only at the point of purchase (online or international) is the relevant exchange rate applied by RBL based on the prevailing rate on that day. Much like a credit card.
What about the receiving side of mobile money? Can persons accept money (or payment) into their wallet? And how will this happen? Scan a code of some sort?
The bmobile Visa Prepaid Card works hand in hand with the bmobile Prepaid Card app which allows customers to securely
- View transactions on their card
- Pay their TSTT bills
- Top up their bmobile prepaid phones etc.
This is just the beginning as TSTT seeks to further develop the services offered by the bmobile Visa Prepaid Card.
One future functionality which TSTT would be aiming to develop is the Peer to Peer (P2P) transfer. This service would allow card holders to transfer funds between cards via the ‘Balance Transfer’ option that would be available via the app.
Does this work with PayPal to accept online payments?
At present customers have the convenience of placing funds onto the card via the loading procedure at any of the conveniently located TSTT customer service centres, bmobile retail stores or RBL branches nationwide.
Anything else readers should know?
The bmobile Visa Prepaid Card is a ground-breaking development that is designed to enable more people to safely and securely participate in electronic payments and mobile money. Bmobile intends to evolve towards a state of being able to offer various financial services to our customers directly from their mobile devices. Think about receiving disbursements or paying for movie tickets or transferring funds to a friend. The bmobile Visa Prepaid Card + bmobile Prepaid Card app allows such services to be developed over time, with the assistance of our partners.
Where can readers go to get support and other questions answered?
For further details customer can visit any one of our TSTT customer service centres or bmobile retail stores. Info is also available via our website http://bmobile.co.tt/prepaid-visa/