From Cash to Card: Introducing Your Digital Money

A Brightwell prepaid card sits on a yellow background. A variety of foreign cash currencies lay behind the card in an orange trail. Brightwell's global payments and payroll solutions (ReadyRemit and Navigator, respectively) allow payouts to card, accounts, or cash pickup in different currencies.A person holding a tablet with icons on it.

Technology is changing the world in so many ways – travel is getting faster, communication is getting easier, and our phones are getting smarter. But what about money? Technology is also changing how we earn, spend, and share money.

You may have noticed a shift away from cash to more cards and mobile payments. There is a good reason for that: the world is continuing to make money digital. Thousands of years ago humans traded goods and services without currency. Eventually, we chose items that could represent value – some examples are shells or stones and, eventually, notes and coins. This was the first-time money evolved, but it was not the last time.

Later the Romans used pieces of parchment to represent the value of money and they would trade those documents with each other. Many believe this to be the creation of the check. The check represented a promise from one person to pay to the other individual for goods and services. In 1950 Diner’s Club, Inc. issued the first credit card. This card allowed a person to have a meal, pay the restaurant on credit, and use the money in their bank account to settle the transaction at a later date. Debit cards quickly followed in the 1960s. These cards gave people the freedom to make purchases securely without the need to carry cash with them.

For many years the cruise industry paid their crew members in cash – US Dollars or the local currency. As the ships are always in transit around the globe, organizing and receiving delivery of physical currency was very difficult, time-consuming, and not very secure. This is where Brightwell enters the story. We help more than 150,000 crew members around the world receive, spend, and send money1 when they want and how they want. Making the change from cash to pay on a prepaid debit card. We know this change can be overwhelming at first, but we are here to help.

There are many benefits when you get paid in digital currency on a prepaid debit card. We will discuss a few of those benefits below.

When your money is digital, it travels easily.

Sending cash around the world1 to family has always been a little complicated and time consuming – you have to leave your ship, spend time comparing rates, stand in line at an agent, and then choose from limited options. When you receive your pay electronically in a prepaid debit card, you have many choices to send money:

  • You can automatically send money to a bank account1 every time you get paid;
  • You can save your money and then send it to your bank account1 at home when you need to;
  • You can send cash to more than 15,000 locations in the Philippines for pickup in minutes;
  • You can share money to another crew member’s card or a Companion Card with a loved one at home.
When your money is digital, it is more secure.

Your digital money is more secure than it would be in your wallet or in your cabin. For example: if someone steals your cash there is little you can do. However, if your card is lost or stolen, unauthorized transactions are safeguarded when you report the missing card. You can also review transactions and check the balance on your card, at no cost, anytime from the Brightwell Navigator mobile app.

Finally, when your money is digital, you are in control.

It is your money and your choice – you can save it, send it, or spend it. You can also use your card everywhere Visa or Mastercard is accepted – more than 30 million locations around the world. When you combine your prepaid debit card with your PIN you can even get cash back at many merchants without paying fees like you would at an ATM – just make a purchase, choose debit, select cash, and enter your PIN. You can even use your card to shop online at many popular retailers.

This change means one important thing for you: more control over your money and your financial future and more choices about how you use it. Change can be scary, but the Brightwell team is here to help you navigate your digital finances.

Come back soon for more in our educational series. We will discuss how to use your card, send your pay home1, and how Brightwell keeps your money safe.

1Restrictions may apply. See transfer terms and conditions for details.The Brightwell Visa® Prepaid Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.