Money mix-up

Stacy’s 16 year old daughter, Amy, was going on a school trip to Europe and planned to use a travel card pre-loaded with Euro. Stacy loaded $1500 NZD onto Amy’s card. Stacy was informed $981.55 USD had been loaded onto Amy’s card. Amy changed the USD into Euros using the travel card’s system and it became €782.59. Stacy was expecting $1500 NZD to buy around €868, and felt her daughter had been unfairly penalised for the NZD to USD currency exchange.  


The dispute

Stacy contacted the travel card provider, Travel Cash. Travel Cash told Stacy that the default currency on the account, which can be changed by the card holder online, had been changed to US Dollars during a previous trip and had not been changed back to NZ Dollars. Travel Cash advised that loads onto the card were made in the nominated default currency. Travel Cash recommended that next time Stacy was reloading the card she should check the nominated default currency, and apologised to her for the inconvenience.

Stacy did not feel this was an adequate response to her complaint, and contacted FSCL.


Stacy’s position

Stacy felt the amount lost due to the extra currency conversion from NZD into USD was exorbitant and an apology from Travel Cash did not remedy this. Stacy wanted to be compensated for the loss.


Travel Cash’s position

Travel Cash said they were not at fault for the loss as it had been caused by user (Stacy’s) error. The default currency was NZD but Stacy had changed the default currency to USD for a previous trip. Any loads where the currency was not specified would be made to USD, and to be successfully converted to another currency, the customer would have to use Travel Cash’s exchange rates.



We assisted Travel Cash and Stacy to reach an agreement. Stacy acknowledged that Travel Cash was not at fault and Travel Cash agreed to refund some of the currency exchange rate in goodwill.


FSCL’s insight

Customers using travel cards should be aware of the fees and charges associated with their account. When reloading travel cards it is important to check what currency the money will be loaded in, as currency exchanges will incur charges.