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Friday, 19 November, 2010, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Asia Pacific travellers use ATMs as smarter way to access cash on holiday: Visa

As holidaymakers plan their next getaway, smart travellers from Asia Pacific are less likely to carry large sums of cash from home, opting instead to withdraw cash at the ATM once they had arrived, according to a consumer survey by Visa.

Visa commissioned an online survey which was conducted by The Nielsen Company in May 2010. The survey asked 6,714 respondents from 13 markets (Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States) about their travel cash access habits. All respondents were internet users and aged 18 years or above. The survey, which covered 13 countries and territories found that almost half (46 per cent) of respondents had withdrawn cash at an ATM overseas during their last holiday.  

Four in ten (38 per cent) respondents also said they prefer to only take a small amount of cash to cover initial expenses and access more cash overseas when required. Less than one in five (19 per cent) choose to take all the cash needed for a trip and not access more cash at the destination.

Ross Jackson, Head of Cross-Border Business - International, Visa said, “Carrying a large sum of cash is increasingly unnecessary for travellers. Apart from the option of using payment cards at a shop or restaurant, ATMs that accept international payment cards are generally well-located at most airports and major tourist and shopping areas so travellers can avoid the risk of carrying large amounts of cash and easily access their holiday funds when they need it.”     
As reported by respondents, travellers will on average withdraw USD 435 at ATMs at their destination. Respondents from China (USD 742) are likely to withdraw the most money from overseas ATMs, followed by respondents from India (USD 719) and Australia (USD 691).    

Women and older travellers preferred using an ATM for their cash needs while on holiday. Also 13 per cent of female respondents said they used the ATM most often to get cash as opposed to ten per cent of male respondents, while 15  per cent of respondents aged 45 years and above used an ATM most often as compared to ten per cent of respondents younger than 45. The preference for ATMs among older respondents could also be linked to how almost seven out of ten (69 per cent) of this group said they would not exchange more cash than they needed during their trip.    

When asked about the benefits of obtaining cash via overseas ATMs, nearly half (48 per cent) of the respondents said getting cash on demand at ATMs was a convenient means of accessing local currency, 41 per cent were concerned with personal safety and hence did not like to carry a lot of cash when they leave their home countries.  While 37 per cent also agreed ATMs is a good way to access cash for emergencies. According to respondents, Visa is the most popular payment brand among three in five respondents (59 per cent) for international cash access.

Jackson said, “Visa has a network of more than 1.7 million ATMs worldwide that offer cardholders hassle-free access to local cash anywhere.  Accessing cash when you are overseas can minimise the problem of dealing with large sums of leftover local currency. Cash withdrawals via ATMs also leave a transaction record which makes it the smarter way for travellers to enjoy their holiday while keeping track of spending.”
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