Tuesday, 30 May 2017 01:10

‘Money misadventure’ costs Aussie travellers nearly $1 billion

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Lost or stolen money or possessions, debit and credit card currency conversion fraud or missing a flight is costing Australian travellers almost $1 billion each year, with new research revealing that money theft is the number one cause of money misadventure.

The research, by the Commonwealth Bank, shows that Aussie travellers lose $990 million each year through what the bank calls “money misadventure” – but worse still, nearly a third of Australians, or 30%, are not insured whilst travelling.

The research also found that as well as losing money and possessions, 34% of Aussie travellers admit these mishaps are causing significant levels of stress and 27% said they have had  to change their travel plans because of the incidents.  

And money theft, at 59%, is the number one cause of money misadventure.

Not surprisingly, the Commonwealth Bank says its research also reveals that traveller preference for cards has increased over the past year (41% vs. 37%), while the popularity of cash is declining (42% vs. 48%).

According to Michael Baumann, general manager, everyday banking and payments, Commonwealth Bank, the “right payment mix will mean you won’t be completely out of pocket when you’re on holiday if you run into trouble”.  

“It is always advisable to carry a mixed wallet with some local cash alongside your credit or debit card, and with travel money cards ideally stored in different locations.

“Having a variety of options means you’re not left high and dry should you misplace a card, run out of cash or find yourself in a difficult situation. Some credit cards also include insurance, so make sure you activate this before setting off.”

The research, carried out for the Commonwealth by ACA Research also revealed that Gen Y travellers — those born between approximately 1977 to 1995 — are the most likely to lose possessions while travelling (46%) or be affected by a holiday misadventure, with 41% admitting a “misadventure” in the past 12 months caused them stress.

And, the Gen Y travellers are also the least likely to be insured, with 68% admitting to not taking out insurance when they travel.

And here’s what the Commonwealth says the research revealed about other travellers:

  • Gen X: Perhaps a little older and wiser from their first overseas travel experiences, Gen X is the most likely generation to report that safety is important when considering an overseas holiday (93%). Despite being more cautious, nearly one in three who had a holiday misadventure were not insured (32%).
  • Baby Boomers: The Baby Boomers is the generation least likely to be the target of theft (23% whilst travelling overseas. It seems as age increases, so does the likelihood of being insured when travelling overseas with more than three quarters (76%) travelling with insurance.
  • Grey Generation: After years of travel experience it is no surprise the Grey Generation puts safety first with 42% not travelling to a destination if there is any risk to their safety. Gen Grey is also the most likely generation to be insured (84%) and is significantly less likely to lose their possessions (21%).

And the Commonwealth Bank suggests ways to help travellers avoid travel money misadventures, with carrying a “mixed wallet” one way suggested.

“A mixed wallet with a combination of local currency, credit or debit card, a travel money card and a back-up card for security. Customers using a prepaid travel money card can enjoy the peace-of-mind of having a spare card as well as the ability to lock their card in real time,” the bank says.

“And the CommBank app is your one stop shop that allows you to activate your travel insurance; shows transaction costs in real time and allows you to reload your Travel Money Card.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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