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Loo Roll Filled Vault Opens in Circular Quay with Clear Message: Why Save Toilet Paper When You Can Save $$$.

October 1, 2020 Lifestyle News No Comments Email Email

TransferWise, the global technology company making it easy for Aussies to spend in multiple currencies at the real exchange rate, has installed a see-through vault filled with 2,500 toilet rolls in Sydney’s Circular Quay.

The vault has been created to represent Australia’s loo paper stockpiling movement. But the vault also comes with a more serious message: Australia; there are more valuable items you could be saving than paper for your derriere.

In just one year after launch, Australian customers using the TransferWise Platinum Debit Mastercard, have saved themselves $2.6million (over $7000 a day) in fees while shopping online with overseas retailers and on international travel (pre-pandemic). The saving is in comparison to the same purchases using their bank-issued debit or credit card.

With both the ACCC and MP Andrew Leigh recently sounding the alarm on exorbitant fees and hidden exchange rate mark-ups charged by banks when Aussies spend in foreign currency, the cheekily titled, “$*it and Think About It” campaign, forces Aussies to take a look at how they could be flushing money down the loo.

The campaign is supported by new research of over one thousand Australians, which revealed:

  1. Over half (57.7 per cent) of Australian shoppers claim to know which fees their bank is charging them, however, when pressed further to describe what these fees were, 59.6 per cent answered incorrectly. 61.2 per cent are not even fully aware of their financial circumstances when it comes to spending overseas. A concerning statistic, given one-fifth of Aussies (20.1 per cent) plan on travelling as soon as international travel restrictions ease up
  2. Despite hidden transaction fees affecting so many Australians, 17.4 per cent admitted they don’t bother to investigate unexplained fees being deducted from their account after shopping online; and only 27.6 per cent correctly identified the average percentage mark-up banks charge on international purchases
  3. Furthermore, one in four (24.1 per cent) of Aussies are of the belief there are no fees associated with using their bank card for shopping overseas, while one third (35 per cent) are aware they could be charged lower fees with a different card provider but will not change their spending habits accordingly

The reality is, Aussies could be saving much more than loo roll. Twenty-nine per cent of Aussies may have panic bought approximately 40,000 rolls across the nation in the last 12 months. However, Aussies that made international purchases in the same period using the TransferWise Platinum Debit Card saved the equivalent of 2,166,666[1] loo rolls, enough to travel 7 times [2] around Australia.

Tim Cameron, TransferWise Australia, Country Manager, said: “In just one year, our Aussie customers made substantial savings by ditching their bank cards and using the TransferWise card instead.

“Aussies are flushing cash down the loo daily, and they don’t even know it. You don’t only have to be in Bali, buying a Bintang to be a victim of hidden fees, for example. Even purchases made online outside of Australia, have hidden fees attached in the form of exchange rate mark-ups charged by the banks, and we’re on a mission to help put an end to that.

“It seems Aussies value saving loo paper a fair bit, so we’re asking them the next time they use that precious paper, to instead ‘$*it And Think About’ the other precious paper they could be saving.”

The TransferWise’ loo roll vault’ has opened in Circular Quay, for one day only (30th September). Not only will lucky passers-by score some free toilet paper, but randomly placed rolls will also include a wad of cash – $145 – reflecting the average saving each Aussie TransferWise Platinum Debit Mastercard holder made in hidden international card charges over the past year.

Fees to watch out for when paying in a different currency using your bank card:

  • Foreign transaction fee – Even if you pay in Australian dollars, most banks charge what’s known as a foreign or international transaction fee if the retailer is outside of Australia. If you have a Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit/debit card with any of the big four banks, you’ll be hit with these international transaction fees which shows up on your statement after you purchase.
  • Currency conversion fee – While some debit or credit cards won’t charge a foreign transaction fee, a hidden cost you won’t know about until it happens is the currency conversion charge. Credit and debit card issuers will often charge you a transaction fee of 3-3.5% of your purchase in order to convert your Australian dollars into the currency used by the retailer.

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