The power of a purchase: Canadians can now give while they spend, with Free The Children RBC Virtual Visa Debit Card

Every debit transaction supports Free The Children's youth initiative

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Purchasing power is taking on a new meaning for Canadians, as they can now help support Free The Children's charitable initiatives around the world each time they make online purchases by debit - using the new Free The Children RBC Virtual Visa Debit Card.

The new debit card, officially launched this month, allows anyone aged 14 and older to securely make purchases online, by telephone or mail order with funds debited directly from their RBC Royal Bank deposit bank account. RBC Royal Bank will then donate a portion of each purchase to Free The Children, to support its international and domestic programming.

As this is a debit card, not a credit card, there are no interest charges or annual fees associated with the use of the card; in addition, RBC Royal Bank has waived any transaction fees. Purchases are debited directly from funds in the cardholder's bank account, so cardholders know exactly how much they have spent and how much they have remaining in their account for savings and any future purchases. Moreover, daily spending limits can be customized to cardholder preferences to further manage spending.

"Through all their fundraising efforts for Free The Children, young Canadians continue to demonstrate the difference they want to make in their own communities and around the world," said Doug Collins, vice-president, Payments and Banking Services, Royal Bank of Canada. "This new debit option provides young people and adults with a convenient, safe and secure way to help create positive change by supporting Free The Children with every purchase they make.  In addition, because they can set daily spending limits for this debit card, it's a great tool for smart money management."

The cumulative power of all purchases made by Free The Children RBC Virtual Visa Debit cardholders will go toward helping Free The Children to continue to support and inspire generations of young people to make a positive change in the world. This year, donations from purchases will support Free The Children's Year of Education Initiative, with a year-long fundraising commitment to build 200 new schools in Free The Children's overseas communities.

"We know the impact small actions can have to bring about big change," said Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. "We're honoured RBC chose our charity to partner with for this new debit card, giving socially conscious Canadians an easy way to support our international development projects."

The Free The Children RBC Virtual Debit card has daily spending limits specifically assigned to the cardholder. These spending limits can be decreased at any time and can be gradually increased based on the cardholder's comfort level. These daily limits assist with budgeting techniques for responsible spending.  As with all Visa products, the Free The Children RBC Virtual Debit card is supported by Visa's Zero Liability protection.

For more information about the Free The Children RBC Virtual Visa Debit card, please visit

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, and investor services and wholesale banking on a global basis. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. For more information, please visit

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.

About Free The Children
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization's domestic programs—which includes We Day, Free The Children's signature youth empowerment event—educate, engage and empower 1.7 million young people across North America, the UK and around the world to become engaged global citizens. Its international projects have brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water and sanitation, health care and food security to one million people around the world, freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty.

The organization has received the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, the Human Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information, visit


For further information:

Kathy Bevan, Manager, Communications, RBC, 416 974-8810,

Free The Children
Julia Thomas, PR Manager, Free The Children, 416 738-8702,

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