I’ve noticed quite a few places abroad setting the transaction to my home currency (GBP), having converted the cost from the local currency at a pretty bad exchange rate (obviously worse than Revolut’s). If you don’t notice it’ll go through and come from whatever currency you have money in. With WeSwap (who I used before) it would be declined if I hadn’t converted the money to that currency on the app – it would be handy to be able to block charges in your home currency while abroad to address this.
I think you misunderstood the request.
I only have GBP in my account so when making a transaction that is in a different currency, then the funds are taken out of my GBP account at the time the transaction happens.
What would be good is to have the option to prevent a merchant to charge the card in GBP so that they have to use their own currency. This is so that mistakes that @kyrkesmith eluded to can’t happen.
For example, when booking a one way ticket on RyanAir from Germany to the UK, Ryanair tries to charge it in GBP at a very bad exchange rate instead of EUR, which is the currency it shows the price in. The reason that RyanAir tried this is that it notices that the Revolut card is from the UK so RyanAir offers me the price in GBP using their own exchange rate. By blocking this, one would get an error, which could mean people don’t know why they are getting the error unless there is a way to notify on the Revolut app why the transaction failed. This way Revolut does not get calls/messages to customer service asking to resolve it.
I guess the best thing is for people to be aware of this and make sure that they tick/untick the box that charges you in the home currency.
I’ve seen it a couple of times that a terminal tells me that it assumes it is a GBP card and asks me If I’m sure that I want to pay in USD, for example. Then it’s not a problem at all to just select the local currency.
Isn’t it more about how a merchant configured its terminal / website? In case of the Ryanair example, wouldn’t there be the risk of the card being declined completely if GBP payments would be blocked?
That’s exactly it, @smumani – being able to block so merchants can’t charge you in a currency you don’t want to be charged in (so avoiding them using their rate instead of the Revolut one). Being aware’s important too as you say @Frank, but being able to turn off/on currencies would be better protection still I think.
It sounds like you are referring to DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion) whereby the currency conversion is performed at the point of sale using the merchants own bank or an intermediary rather than through MasterCard / Revolut. This is sometimes at several percent above the interbank rate. I understand that both Visa and MasterCard are required by law to allow DCC operators access to their platforms. The DCC operator can identify from which country the card has been issued and therefore process the transaction in the cards ‘home’ currency.
The cardholder should be given a choice of whether to pay in the local currency or their home currency, however some less scrupulous merchants try to prevent the transaction being performed in local currency as they make a cut from the currency conversion.
As mentioned in my comment, it is a downside if the home currency were blocked as the card/transaction would then be declined.
I’m guessing the best thing to do is check the currency you are charged carefully - Ryanair are quite sneaky about it and only give you a small tick box - I got caught out once.
Being able to block charges in the cards home currency whilst abroad would be a great feature for Revolut cards. This would automatically prevent DCC charges in home currency, however it may lead to the transaction being declined if the processing system identifies the card as UK issued and cannot apply a GBP payment.
Better still is to make the card anonymous, i.e remove any means of identifying it as a UK issued card. Therefore a DCC processing system would not be able to identify the correct ‘home’ currency to charge the card, and may then have to default to charging in local currency.
@smumani I agree – I don’t think blocking transactions in the home currency across the board would be good, but the ability to turn it on and off via the app would be. Or, as @MattW93 suggests, anonymising the home country of the card in some way may well do the trick.
Fun fact: I’m using another Mastercard to top up my Revolut card. This account is in EUR, but the card is from a British issuer. So every time I’m topping up in EUR, the Revolut app asks me if I am sure that I want to do that, because the card seems to be a GBP card.
I would really like to see a feature like this! You are all talking about “home” currency but please do not ignore the possibility of a non GB born/resident/whatever, using the Revolut card, being bugged about merchants picking the currency they like without asking the client which currency he wants to perform the purchase with. I, for example, live in Spain and I dont have any GBP in my card, only EUR, and I dont see why I should pay with gbp a transaction I am making with a Revolut card that has only euro inside, especially to a merchant in the eurozone. I understand this is a merchant problem, but I think that a feature like this would prevent them from causing this, wheater it’s because of an accident or malicious intent, as somebordy suggested.
I don’t think that the ability to block transactions in any “home” currency is needed, only the ability to block transactions in GBP. Because Revolut is issued in the UK, merchants doing the Dynamic Currency Conversion scam on a Revolut card will do so always in GBP. Therefore the ability to block transactions in GBP would suffice. I fully support this idea.
It’s not as simple as the above advice to always select the local currency. Last month I saw a currency and amount changed AFTER authorisation, as explained here. Until MasterCard bans DCC, it would be great if Revolut could defeat this scam.
Now wouldn’t that be cool, a 4th option under ‘My Revolut Card’
‘Block DCC Tranactions’
Seriously though, I have been victim of the ‘change currency after authorising a transaction scam’ one time in Spain. The merchant was adamant that it was the way the card terminal worked and therefore out of her control. So I asked them to put a dummy transaction of EUR 0.10 through the terminal using my card. Sure enough request to enter PIN to authorise EUR 0.10, fine, then ‘hand terminal to merchant is displayed’ pressed ‘Enter’ and hey presto ‘select currency GBP or EUR’. So basically the merchant has the option to select GBP after the customer authorises a transaction in EUR. That to me is fraud!!
I don’t think blocking GBP payments would be effective in avoiding the DCC problem, because of the Revolut system of payments being taken from the ‘next available’ currency balance if the default currency of payment is not available.
So, if payment in GBP is selected by mistake or sneakily imposed by the merchant, but payment in GBP is blocked as suggested, the payment is still likely to go through by taking euros or dollars from one of those balances - is it not…? It will be converted to pounds by Revolut, then to the local currency using DCC by the merchant/ATM.
I suspect that first few digits of a card number indicates its country of origin, so making the UK origin invisible to the DCC operator may not be a simple matter…
Anyone who comes up with an effective anti-DCC solution will be a true hero…!