What is one thing, beyond a passport, that everyone takes with them when they travel? Obviously, it’s money. Even though moolah is essential when traveling, it’s a pain to exchange, transfer, and handle.
We’ve gathered four fintech (financial technology) startups that have developed innovative solutions to make travelers’ lives easier, from sending money to spending money abroad. Check them out below!
Currency can be confusing to keep track of when you’re jetting from one country to the next, not to mention the exchange fees. Our friends at Revolut have created a solution for this—a multi-currency card that allows you to pay in your own currency everywhere MasterCard is accepted.
Using the Revolut app, you load money onto your Revolut card, and when you make purchases the money is automatically exchanged using interbank rates. There are no extra charges or hidden fees involved. You can also send money through your social networks.
Both the app and card are free with no annual fees. If you happen to lose the VISA while traveling, you have the option to block the card in the app at any time.
Curve is another option for travelers looking to simplify their spending abroad. The London-based startup combines all your credit and debit cards into one payment card. The Curve card works like a normal banking card with chip-and-pin, magstripe and contactless technology.
The card is managed with a mobile app where you sync your credit and debit cards and select which card you’d like to use. Point collectors still get to enjoy collecting points with their favorite cards. The app also transparently displays all of your transactions from each card, making it easy to track your spending.
Similar to the Revolut card, you save on foreign currency rates. Curve cuts your exchange costs to the MasterCard wholesale rate, plus 1%, with no fees. You can use the Curve card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
The Curve card costs £35 (about $50 USD) up front, and can be ordered online or directly through the Curve mobile app.
If you’re like us, you never know what to do with the random change left over from your trip. Ireland-based startup TravelersBox has developed an ATM-like box for travelers to deposit their unused currency and redeem gift cards from brands like iTunes, Starbucks, or Skype. You can also add the money to your PayPal account or donate it to charity.
TravelersBox has over 70 kiosks in airports around the world including Italy, Canada, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, and the Philippines. They are coming soon to Japan, India, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. The startup plans to deploy 200 new machines this year so keep an eye out the next time you’re in an airport!
If you’ve ever run out of money while traveling or needed to send money back home, you’re familiar with the exorbitant fees that come with international money transfers. Thankfully, Moneytis has developed a database that will find you the best way to transfer money from country X to country Y.
Think of them as the Booking.com of money transfers. Moneytis compares transfer offers from all providers and lets you pick solutions based on the fastest, cheapest and most reliable way to transfer abroad. After all, they’re called Moneytis because they claim “Money Transfer Is Simple.”
Money is essential and important to every traveler. We are always looking for ways we can help travelers save on unnecessary expenses so if you know of any companies who help travelers save money, let us know in the comments!