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SA Travellers Cashing in on Strong Rand
Source: The Good News
Source Date: Monday, November 15, 2010
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 16, 2010

Bank says the trend to astute forex buying by well-informed consumers applies to all classes of travellers - from those on tight budgets to those enjoying extended trips and cruises, both on holiday or on business.


The buying of large amounts of foreign bank notes has however prompted security concerns. "Those who take all their forex in cash should make sure they have a safe and secure place to keep it safe ahead of and during their travels. A loss of cash is irreplaceable whereas the safety features of a world currency card ensure that your spending money is protected," says MacFarlane.


Bidvest Bank has also noticed consumer nervousness about continued rand strength and worries about possible weakness to come.


MacFarlane added: "Consumers are generally well informed. They know that these days you can buy currency up to 60 days before you travel and they are also aware that currency markets can be volatile. This is why many travellers who have booked their European skiing holidays or other overseas holiday options are buying their foreign exchange now, at a time of rand strength. Those taking out their 'holiday allowance' are particularly eager to lock in a favourable exchange rate."


As a result of traveller concerns about currency volatility, Bidvest is offering a new service which allows customers who require R100 000 or more in foreign exchange to book their forex rate up to six months in advance.  Customers can use the facility to lock in currently strong exchange rates as a way of managing the risk of a slide against world currencies should current rate trends go into reverse.


"Our volumes at the moment are influenced to a large extent by Christmas holiday travellers making use of the 60-day window, but after the holiday rush we expect greater uptake of the six-month forward cover option."



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