SBM Smile Prepaid cards for your online purchases

Since a few weeks, SBM has introduced a new card in its game. The SBM Smile Prepaid Card.

As you perhaps guessed, the card works a bit like your prepaid sim card. You can for buy pre-loaded cards (Up to Rs20,000) and non-loaded cards (Rs30-150,000) and use it anywhere, just like a debit card and also, use it for online purchases.

The similarities/differences as compared to a debit card or a credit card :

  • Limit of Rs10,000 per day for the MUR card and up to Rs20,000 for the foreign card.
  • Similarly as the debit card, the money is yours. So no interests charged like the credit card.
  • You have a PIN code to protect unauthorized access to the money onto your card.
  • The card is valid only 6months
  • Any money unused after the 6months can be transferred back to your main account.
  • The prepaid card is VISA branded.
  • Whenever needed, recharge your prepaid card by transferring money to it (through banks)
  • Card activated on the same day of application made.
  • For those travelling, there exists 6 different currencies for the foreign card and unlike the MUR card, this one can be recharged through internet banking.

What can make me get hold of a smile prepaid card?

Below are some desirable features to make the prepaid MUR card more widely accepted :

  • Very important : Allow recharging through Internet Banking or ATMs to remove the hassle of going to a bank for recharging the card.
    For example, it does not really make sense for a parent to lose precious time going to the bank monthly when he needs to top up his kid’s pocket money onto the card.
  • Remove (or Increase) the Rs10,000 daily limit (The card holder needs to understand the risks)
  • 6months validity is a too short period. Increase it.

Without the above mentioned, the card is not too different from the debit card I use daily, while doing my purchases in the supermarket or to withdraw money from an ATM. The limit is still Rs10,000, there is still an application fee each time I need a new card and if am not mistaken, there is no interest accumulated for the money on the prepaid card, unlike for the money which is accessible through my debit card.

More or less similar to the debit card, except that it normally allows internet purchases. No more credit card needed. I am much tempted to get one of the cards to verify if it really works for online purchases through Paypal/eBay.

Anyone wants to try it and let us know? Please share your suggestions/critiques about this new card.

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121 thoughts on “SBM Smile Prepaid cards for your online purchases

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  1. FYI
    Debit card has a limit for withdrawal at ATM depending on banks, for example at Barclays it’s Rs 20,000.
    Paying directly with your debit card, the minimum limit does not apply.
    I was told by the bank representative before leaving Mauritius and I can confirm.

    For credit cards, most of the payment effected online would require a billing address.
    Several websites didn’t not allow payment since my credit card has a Mauritian address and I was forced to enter a US address.

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      1. Any specific error Paypal is giving you? Normally, once linked successfully, you should be able to carry out any purchase using the paypal account. Do you mind trying a (small) purchase using Amazon or Alibaba? Both of these two sites have their own system and this will allow you to know if the problem is indeed with your card or the link with paypal.

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  2. @ Bhooks: yes you can recharge the card. its just like your sim card for your mobile. you recharge it, you use the credit in it and it is absolutely not linked to your bank account.

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  3. Where is the trick?

    Because the local banks being vampiric as hell, they must be charging you somehow: what’s the real and total cost of that service?

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  4. Their tricks: 
    – they use their own exchange rate
    – the card is valid for 6 months only so that you need to buy a new one after that
    – i guess that the businesses which debit the card have to pay some sort of commission to the bank; some kind of merchant service fee.
    – and i am sure that there should be lots more

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    1. Yes your are Right and Thats the Important Point.If we Buy something Rs100 we have to Pay some commission.as this type of card easily available from worldwide but not acceptable everywhere.I have One card which i Buy Online and Everytime on Single Purchase i have to pay 1$ Extra means around 30rs or less/more Mauritian Rupees.Its Useless….. Please Confirm and Update Us Ashvin about Transaction Commission.Thanks

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  5. One important point .. and not the least.. 

    This card can be used to PAY ONLINE !. Which is not possible for persons like university students who don’t have a credit card .. or even workers who don’t have a fixed salary. 

    This will allow a lot of persons to buy online. Which is not possible with the SBM Visa debit card nor the MCB debit card which most people have.

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      1. Wrong, Lina. Don’t know where you got that intel but I’ve never had any problems with CIM’s Mastercard. I just always deposit money before use. i.e. I use it like a debit card

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  6. Tried it out for an online purchase, works seamlessly.
    I tried to add the card to my paypal account the same day it was issued, and as expected paypal didn’t allow me to. The next day, it was added successfully(activated in the morning, <24 hours since it was issued, so it's probable they activate it at ~midnight)

    What's cool is that you don't need to confirm/link the card to your paypal account (a procedure which confirms it's your card. paypal temporarily removes $1.95 from your card, then after some time you check the code on mini-statement and enter the code on paypal's website) which normally takes 1-2 days [i think]. So you can make your purchase the next day you got the card.

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    1.  Hello, where should I check the code? Im not finding it on my paypal account. Its been one week since I’ve registered.

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      1. If am not mistaken, you should have the code from the statement of the card, not from Paypal. Head to your bank or to a ATM and find the transaction that Paypal carried out for the verification purposes.

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      2. Thank you Yashvin. Iv checked it numerous time on my PayPal account but there’s no sign of it. I’ll check it tomorrow at the bank .. and will I be receiving the card statement by post ? 

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  7. Hi.

    Thanks for putting up this blog post about SBM’s Smile cards.
    As far as I know, prepaid cards branded with the VISA logo can be used as a funding source for your Paypal account. But lately, Paypal started screwing things up since they can’t verify your address and confirm you’re over 18 (but wait… VISA is the issuing authority and naturally our local bank does ask for your ID/those details etc when signing up!)

    To confirm everything, better give SBM a phone call and ask for compatibility.
    They’ll surely reply. It would shock me if they’re unaware of the existence of Paypal though.

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  8. Just to update.
    The thing works – at least for my Travel Card! All you have to do:1. Call at the nearest SBM branch and ask for a Travel Card.You’ll be required to supply proof of your identity (NIC or Passport) and fill out the same form available on its website. If you’ve got a bank account already at SBM, that will avoid you the hassle to topup your prepaid card in cash. As a side note, be aware that you can topup till the permissible amount. An activation fee will be charged – so make sure you ask for the terms and conditions for the rates/amounts deducted.2. Patiently wait till they’ve processed the formalities – which should not take more than half an hour.3. Collect your card and secret PIN code.4. Wait the next day for an SMS notification that your Prepaid card has been activated and credited with ‘XYZ’ USD (if the currency is in US Dollars). Don’t worry, if you’ve applied on a Friday, you will receive a message on a Saturday!
    5. Now, your card is ready to go!

    If you wish to link it to Paypal, just check out Anonymous Coward’s reply.

    My comments regarding linking your card to Paypal:
    Contact SBM (the hotline they’ve requested you to call for any card-related queries) at least two days after you’ve linked your card to your Paypal account, so as to receive the 4-digit Paypal code. It takes a few days for the transaction to be reflected in your prepaid car’s statement. 

    Remember one thing: your mini statement cannot be produced via ATM. Always call the bank for all your transaction details.

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    1. Alright, I’ll call the bank .. but one thing .. if I’ve registered for the smile prepaid card at port louis then can I go and check the paypal transaction code at rose-hill ?

      One more thing, the card statement won’t come by post ? Coz the code is not on my paypal nor by mail. Im not finding it anywhere.

      Thank you 🙂 

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      1.  Alright Yashvin, I went at the bank itself and they told me that normally there’s NO card statement for this card. If I need any query, I got to call the hotline. So, there won’t be any card statement by post or by mail. Everything will be done on calling the hotline.

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  9. hello wanted to knw if using the prepaid card on online betting workd??? how to remove money after wining???? can we still use the prepaid card??? help

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  10. Thanks for this! Somehow, I missed this article and the people on Twitter were talking about it. It’s a good addition to Mauritian banking. Can it be used directly online like a credit card to make purchases?

    Can it be linked to Paypal? I doubt this will be very useful considering 6 months validity but I’m just asking.

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      1. Is there a charge of some sort to get one of these cards? Instead of getting a big amount card and linking it to paypal, maybe we can have many smaller-amount cards and use them for individual purchases?

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  11. 1) works PERFECTLY with paypal. 🙂
    2) less than 10 mins to complete the registration steps and get the card.
    3) Expiry date is more than 6 month. Mine is strangely 10 months away.
    4) No fees for transactions made using the card.

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  12. Hello
    I would like to know if we bid something on ebay and we lose that bid. For example if I bid on a ring cost $ 1 and someone else bid on the same item and won it, do I lose my $ 1 ?
    Thanks

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    1. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any money. Only the winner will need to pay the amount of money he bid. Occasionally, if the winner decides not to buy the item (and upon agreement with the seller), the runner up winner (2nd position) can have the opportunity to buy the item.

      I hope that I was clear in explaining 🙂

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      1. Yeah, you did reply. I thought I lose my money on bidding & not winning. Fortunately its not the case. One more thing, can I change my username on ebay?

        Thanks a lot Yashvin! 🙂 🙂

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      2. 🙂 🙂 🙂
        If I bid something, when is the deadline for me to pay for the item ? Like I bid tonight at 20h, when is the last day for me to pay for the item?
        Thanks 🙂

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  13. Update:
    It is almost impossible to have a statement of your account to check the details of your every transactions. Like money paid, ect.

    ATM: You can only check your balance, take out money. No option to have a details of transactions.

    Customer Care at regional bank: You can’t get a statement of your transactions.

    This is VERY disappointing since I really wanted to check my payment details as I believe that I have Rs 300 to Rs 500 missing from my account.

    I used a really large sum of money for online purchases in the last 2 weeks. I just want to know how my money was deducted.

    I will be going back to the bank tomorrow. Let’s hope this time, they are able to help me.

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  14. hi
    i have some dollars and i was wondering if it would be possible to put it on this prepaid card without changing it into rupees??
    thanks

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    1. I’m pretty sure about it. I dont think that you can directly load your foreign currency into the card but you can convert it at the bank and then, buy a preloaded card at the same bank.

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      1. did you hear about the posh card from bank one???
        it is possible with it
        if i do this then won’t have to bother about the exchange rates when buying online
        sometime they are high whereas sometimes they are low!!

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      2. Heard about it but still, I dont think that it will be possible. Else, logically, how will the bank benefit if you just send your money directly. Makes no sense, right?

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      1. Hello, could you enlighten me because i dont quite understand how u can check the statement of this card online. For example, what if i dont have a sbm account and buy this prepaid card by cash? Thanks!

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  15. hey am having a problem on paypal to lift the limit off my sbm smile card,,but the thing is,there is no statment so where do i get the code? :s

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  16. hey guys,, for the sbm smile card,you don’t have to go to a sbm branch,just call the hotline at the back of your card and you’re done 😀

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  17. hi buddy…i have a question…i have already linked my sbm prepaid card to paypal..but i dont see the figures on paypal

    secondly…can i retrieve my online earned money(credited into paypal) from my sbm credit card.?

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  18. i wanna bet online using this card!!!! but bullshit sites refers this cards as useless!!!
    anylplace i cant bet using this card yashvin??

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  19. I have just registered in Paypal. I have paid USD 1.95 for verification.
    They are saying to enter a 4-digit code found in the bank statement.
    Where can I find the 4-digit code??????
    Please reply quickly!!!!!!!!

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  20. hey guys, nid ur help..
    i have a prepaid visa card (mauritian currency) by sbm, i have registered for ebay and paypal, its been 3 days taht my balance on paypal is still 0.00 USD though i have Rs1000 on my account.. Any idea whats going on..
    Thx..

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  21. Hello,does the sbm prepaid card has those 16 digits printed on?I believe you have to enter them so as to link the card to paypal.Am I right?

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  22. Hello. 🙂 I already have my sbm smile prepaid card(got it yesterday) but now, how should i proceed to create an account on PayPal? I tried to create one with this card but it’s not getting accepted and i don’t have a credit card. What should i do? Please help me!

    Like

    1. Hello.

      Is your SBM Smile Card active already? If yes, you should not get any problems. First you create a paypal account and then, you add the card number of your SBM Smile Card to it.

      If you already tried this, can you tell us which error you are getting?

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      1. Yes, they told me this morning it will be activated. I tried to create an account and it said to link a credit card, which i did using this card. Does it work as a credit card? Thanks for replying. I appreciate it.

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      2. Yes, it is not a credit card but you can put it like that: it is accepted for online payments unlike your ATM card (Debit card).

        Probably the card has not yet been activated in your case.
        You can try later tomorrow or if it still does not work, try it on an ATM.

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      1. well its the first time im using SMILE..
        i got one just yesterday..

        and im always failing at linking it to paypal.
        would be nice if you can tell me the steps..

        i try looking at the messages but there are too much information ,,getting me confused

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      2. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried myself. And some people commenting below actually tried and succeeded. You should read the comments and ask questions to the appropriate people 🙂

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  23. Hello, please help me. On monday I gotzis “SBM Smile Visa card
    I tried many time to buy on Aliexpress/ebay but It kept on telling “payment unsuccessful…..reason: Your bank declined your payment bla bla bla”… what should I do? what do you consider? fed up

    Like

  24. Hello,

    I have been using the SBM Prepaid card for around a year and twice money has disappeared from my account. Once it was around 82$ where they have taken 3 months to refund the money(not an easy procedure where I constantly have to pester the bank, Gbay Branch) and the second time is 3 months back for 96$ and I still haven’t been refunded. It seems they do not know where the money is. This card is very unreliable and unsafe. I had 2 accounts there for smile prepaid card and I am planning to close it the minute I get my refund. A mistake can happen once but not twice within a year and the funny thing is that they are still looking for the money for the past 3 months. If they do not know where money disappeared in their account who will????

    I do lots of purchases online and unfortunately SBM has lost a good client. I am now working with MCB, and I can also check each transaction made online itself. With SBM, I had to go to the bank every time to check my transaction unless you pay a fee to get a statement.

    Again, please be careful whoever is using the SBM prepaid card. It is very very unsafe.

    Like

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