MADISON, Wis. (9/19/08)--Credit unions can offer their members more foreign currency options through two new products that are now included in the CUNA Strategic Services/Travelex alliance agreement. Travelex Cash Passport prepaid currency cards, with no purchase fees for credit unions, and CashPax were added to the suite of travel money solutions. The new Cash Passport cards are the only prepaid foreign currency cards available in the U.S. that can be used to lock in an exchange rate for euros of British pounds. The cards allow travelers to purchase goods and services at any retailer that accepts MasterCard or to withdraw money from ATMs abroad. Cash Passport comes with global emergency assistance, which offers members assistance 24 hours a day for lost wallets or passports, medical assistance, legal problems and translation assistance. If the card is lost or stolen, the balance is protected and can be replaced in 20 minutes in most locations worldwide. Travelex CashPax is a bill-sized pack of foreign currency that provides traveling members with enough foreign currency to pay for incidentals--such as taxis upon arrival--and is a great combination with Cash Passport cards. The packs include small denominations of paper money and coins in bundles of $100 or $250. They are available in Canadian dollars, euros, Australian dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen, U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos. “Cash Passport is currently the only foreign currency card on the market, and we believe these cards will be the wave of the future because they are safe, fast and economical,” said Wes Millar, senior vice president of CUNA Strategic Services. “The Cash Passport card will allow credit unions to offer their members an excellent way to plan their spending while traveling overseas,” said Christopher Russell, Travelex’s executive vice president of outsourcing, Americas. “In addition, credit unions can continue to offer the unique products and services their members have come to expect.” A study, conducted by YouGov plc on behalf of Travelex, indicates that demand for this new product is already established with 43% of recent travelers likely to use a Cash Passport in the future. For respondents, the security of PIN and signature protection (37%) and convenience of ATM withdrawals (32%) were the most important features. When considering foreign exchange purchases, most U.S. respondents (37%) looked for a competitive exchange rate that the new euro and British pound cards provide, plus the ability to lock in those rates.