US Unlocked

Posted on 31 October 2019

The Exponential Growth of Cross Border Shopping:

The market for cross border shopping has grown exponentially over the years, as has the need for an accepted payment method. Many people across the globe want access to US goods and services but they either don’t have a credit/debit card or their card is not accepted at US merchants. US Unlocked has been helping this market gain access to US e-commerce retailers since 2008 by issuing a virtual prepaid debit card from a US bank tied to a freight forwarding account. This is the only program of its kind. 


Below are some general statistics regarding the growth of global cross-border shopping.


Program History, From “Mom and Pop” to Enterprise 

Since its inception in 2008, US Unlocked has boarded over 100k card holders and has facilitated the purchase of over $50M worth of goods. The company come a long way from its roots in a a garage in New Jersey to being acquired by Tern US in 2015. Tern immediately set out to modernize the technology platform, migrating the business logic from US Unlocked which was essentially the first truly global prepaid program. Tern assembled the best pieces of the US Unlocked platform and continued the development leveraging an modern technology stack to allow the US Unlocked platform to be fully white labeled and web service enabled. The platform today offers a variety of different virtual payment card options and comes with a virtual shopping assistant. Every US Unlocked account is paired with a freight forwarding account offered by one Tern’s certified freight forwarders. The billing address for the virtual cards matches the shipping address of the certified freight forwarder which ensures very high acceptance at US retailers. Cards can be loaded and topped up with 100s of payment methods including bank transfer in over 50 countries, and region-specific methods like Boleto in Brazil and AliPay in China.


On relaunching the US Unlocked Virtual Payment Cards in April of 2020, Tern is offering two different types of cards to start; One-Time Use Cards and Merchant Specific Cards. One-Time use cards were designed for unparalleled security and fraud protection for online shoppers. These cards will generate new card information after every successful transaction. This mitigates risk while shopping at online merchants by ensuring that a single card number will never be used more than once, and more importantly, cannot be stolen. Merchant Specific cards enable a card number to be affixed to a single merchant. This allows only the authorized cardholder (or member) and verified merchant to authorize funds from the Virtual Payment Card. US Unlocked Members have the ability to create unlimited Merchant Specific Cards for their shopping needs. Together, these card types aid in keeping member’s funds safe while digitally shopping for goods. Below is a link to a video cartoon explaining in a bit more detail on how to use the various cards:


In tandem with the Virtual Payment Cards, US Unlocked partners with certified Premium Freight Forwarders to enable the transportation of US goods to US Unlocked Members home addresses. All a member has to do is make a purchase on a US site using the Virtual Payment Cards while using the US billing address and shipping address provided by US Unlocked and their partners. The goods are then sent to the Freight Forwarding warehouse, repackaged, and delivered to the member’s home address.


The US Unlocked Admin Portal allows for quick insights and management of user accounts, affiliates, detailed reporting tools, merchant whitelists, spending patterns, and other useful program information. 



The entire US Unlocked Platform was built to be white-labelable, this includes both the consumer-facing portals as well as the administrative dashboard reporting and management tools. The interface was carefully designed to give White Labels complete control of assets and icon types to match even the most detailed branding guidelines.



US Unlocked facilitates shopping like never before! This enables members, white labels, and partners to take unique advantage of the platform. Whether you are living outside the US and need access to US goods, are a Freight Forwarder who needs an increase of shipments, or a company seeking to leverage their own cross-border shopping solution, US Unlocked has something for you.

Learn More about US Unlocked



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