Financial services provider Barclays has launched a pre-paid gift card in time for the Christmas season. Barclays Gift Card is an alternative to giving retail vouchers and is aimed at customers who want to give a flexible gift for birthdays, Christmas or other occasions.

The card can be loaded with any sum between GBP10 and GBP300 and is valid for two years.

The card can be used at shops, restaurants and on websites that accept Visa Electron. The company said that the card can easily be cancelled and replaced if lost or stolen making it safer than cash.

Andrew Jones, product director for Barclays current accounts and savings, said: We are expecting the Barclays Gift Card to be really popular in the run up to Christmas. As a pre-paid card it is more secure than cash and more flexible than vouchers so that should make it really popular with those who receive it too.