Visa, the payments company, announced Tuesday (May 15) its launch of a search for a travel enthusiast to send on an international trip to highlight the value of being cash-free.
In a press release, Visa said the international trip is the sequel to the Visa Cashless Challenge, which awarded $500,000 earlier in 2018 to small businesses in the U.S. that reduced their reliance on cash and embraced electronic payments. To find the traveler, Visa is partnering with social media travel personalities, Arden Cho and brothers Alex and Marko Ayling. They will serve as Visa Cashless Ambassadors and will create two travel itineraries.
The search finalists will get to choose between trips to Thailand — with a meditation course, spa day and island hopping — or a Basque Country adventure that includes cave exploration, paddle boarding, and world-renowned cuisine. The finalist also gets pro tips from Visa Cashless Ambassadors before taking off on the trip — photography, video, copywriting and social media advice — to help them share their cash-free travels online.
Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing Officer of Visa, said in the press release, “Visa research shows 87 percent of travelers have leftover cash after their trips, but only 29 percent convert it back, leaving an average of $123 on the table. Visa is turning that costly souvenir into better payment experiences, with technology to help make international travel and transactions more seamless and secure.”
According to Visa’s 2018 Global Travel Intentions Study, 72 percent of travelers prepared cash/foreign currency as part of their pre-trip planning. However, an equal number of respondents admitted they felt that preparing local currency prior to their trip was a time waste. Travelers also cited loss or theft of cash as a top money concern while on a trip. Moving toward cash-free international travel can help consumers save time in pre-trip planning, minimize stress and anxiety, and reduce money wasted due to leftover unconverted currency, Visa said.