Tech Industry

Convert spare holiday change into iTunes credits with TravelersBox

Located at some airports around the world, these kiosks let you use your spare foreign currency to get credit for online services.

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TravelersBox

Instead of bringing back 3,280 yen of loose change from your holiday in Japan, why not convert it into something you can use when you get home?

That's the premise behind TravelersBox, an airport kiosk you can find in 10 countries around the world. Chuck your leftover cash into the machine and you can convert it into iTunes credits, Starbucks vouchers, or even add it to your PayPal account.

While leftover change isn't as much of a problem for those traveling domestically in the US or in much of Europe, anyone travelling in Asia will have to deal with the region's many currencies. And that's why TravelersBox is setting its sights there.

"We're pushing most of our business to Asia, 70 percent of the travel expenses you see worldwide are happening in Asia," said Tomer Zussman, CEO, in an interview with CNET.

"We've just installed a kiosk at Singapore's Changi Airport about three weeks ago, and it's already doing three to four times better than the one we have in Europe."

Shifting the company's focus to Asia also means being able to tap onto the large Chinese tourist market, which Zussman says has seen around 120 million travellers in 2016.

The company's kiosks already support Chinese e-payment services such as Baidu Wallet and WeChat. Support for the biggest e-payment system in China, Alipay, is coming in the future.

While Zussman notes that people won't need the TravelersBox in a future cashless society, he estimates that it will be 10 to 15 years before this happens, giving the company plenty of time to do its thing before then.

There's a 7 percent fee to exchange your money with a TravelersBox, which Zussman notes is still cheaper than using a licensed money changer at the airport. There's also no minimum sum you can convert.

Currently, the company has kiosks in airports in Turkey, Canada, Georgia, Italy, Israel, Japan and the Philippines. It plans to install its kiosks in Hong Kong, Australia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia soon.