Option to disable GBP transactions to block dynamic currency conversion


#1

Many holders of payment cards issued in the UK, including Revolut, have experienced dynamic currency conversion, whereby a merchant converts the transaction currency and amount from the local currency to the currency of the card’s country of issue, in this case to GBP, because Revolut is issued in the UK.

This malpractice is particularly prevalent in Spain, where merchants often disingenuously change the transaction currency and amount from EUR to GBP with a markups of up to 7% after the cardholder has entered their PIN. I have seen this happen several times and it has happened to friends to whom I have recommended Revolut. Unfortunately, the Spanish authorities, MasterCard and Visa do little to curtail the malpractice. On the other hand, American Express for example doesn’t allow it at all.

Although the malpractice of dynamic currency conversion is by no means of Revolut’s making, Revolut is better-placed than other card issuers to block it. Here’s how:

All that is needed is an option within the Revolut app to block any transaction denominated in GBP. If Revolut receives a transaction authorisation request in GBP while this option is activated, then Revolut would reject the transaction and send a push notification to the user informing them that a merchant has attempted a transaction in GBP. The user can then ask the merchant to process the transaction again in the correct currency.


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#2

What you’re saying is really weird. DCC is service well known and supported by all modern terminals. However this is first time I hear that merchant may, on cardholder’s behalf choose wether to use DCC or not. When using EMV card, BEFORE cardholder is promted to enter PIN there’s a message regarding DCC: an exchange rate and total amount in GBP is displayed, and cardholder is promted to either accept or decline it.
On my side, as a cashier once the customer inserts a card settled in other currency there’s a “DCC?” popup telling me to ask the customer wether he want to use DCC or not and guide him through the process.

If you need to pass the card to the merchant, you should inform him that you’d like to be charged in local currency - and he MUST respect your choice. Yep, i know - the merchant should ask you. But "should"doesn’t mean that he will (because in his business is to use DCC), so since it’s in your intrest to be charged in local currency, better care of your own business by yourself :slight_smile:
On receipt there’s a note that you accepted DCC rate: so if this was done on your behalf without your permission, you should try to claim a chargeback (fraud attempt). In the future when you experience this again: immediately demand a refund from the merchant.

Since DCC isn’t really good for Revolut, I think blocking it would be 1st thing they’d do if it was possible.

PS. Did your friends read the FAQ?:

If the ATM (or card terminal) asks whether you would like to complete the transaction ‘with conversion’ or ‘without conversion’, you should ALWAYS choose ‘without conversion’.

As a rule of thumb, you should always opt to be charged in the local currency of the country you’re in! If you’re in Thailand choose Thai Baht, in Spain, Euros or in the United States, Dollars.

If you choose ‘with conversion’, the merchant or ATM provider can apply their own exchange rate. This rate usually has a mark-up on the interbank rate, enabling the ATM provider or merchant to make a profit on your transaction.


#3

Blocking by default would probably be quite difficult (Not sure as to the regulations and agreements in relation to this specific area.).

An opt-in however, may be feasible (User choosing whether to turn off DCC permanently, like the mag stripe option in the app.).


#4

@xStagGx Of course they read the FAQ. But in Spain, the card terminal often allows the merchant to disingenuously change the currency of the transaction after the cardholder has entered their PIN. I have witnessed this myself. We complained to the merchant and it took over half an hour to sort out. That’s why I think that Revolut should block this problem at source.


#5

@capital - There is no technical or regulatory reason why Revolut can’t block GBP transactions at the user’s request.

You mention an “opt-in”. What else did you believe I meant by an “option within the Revolut app to block any transaction denominated in GBP”? This would be a switch in the app.


#6

:sweat_smile:

Sorry about that.


#7

@AndreasK - Can you please find out how feasible this would be to implement? It would be good to hear, at the very least, whether or not Revolut management likes the idea in principle.


#8

I have just returned from Poland and this happened to me. I was not asked anything about conversion, the receipt stated the total I was expecting and then Revolut charged me more because of the conversion. The machine was in Polish so I wasn’t able to check anything. My card only had Polish currency on it so I assumed it would be charged in that currency. How can they convert a card that only had the host currency on it? It’s ridiculous and Revolut are saying tough, go back to the merchant and tell them but I believe it’s the fault of Revolut and they should reimburse me and sort the problem out!!


#9

I understand your disappointment, however, Revolut can’t do anything with transaction you have authorised by entering PIN. Even though machine is in Polish, POS operator MUST show you the amount and you have to confirm it. And ciphers are international, aren’t they?


#10

As I said above, it’s not the fault of Revolut, but Revolut is better placed than other card issuers to prevent this malpractice.


#11

@meme - As I explained above, some merchant terminals allow the merchant to change the currency after the PIN is entered. I’ve witnessed this myself.


#12

So the merchant scammed you by using DCC, and it’s Revolut that should reimburse you?


#13

If I authorised a transaction for, say, 11 euros (roughly £10) and then found out I had been charged directly in £ and the amount was greater than £10 then I certainly would be making a stink about an unauthorised transaction.

Its not Revolut who would reimburse you, but it is Revolut who should be raising the claimback with Mastercard.


#14

There is no cause of action for a chargeback here.

Yes, there is a difference between the amount you were expecting, and the amount you were actually charged, but the fault lies not with Revolut, nor MasterCard, but the merchant itself.

If you swap out a Revolut card with any other debit or credit card on the market, if this sort of abuse of the DCC system is used, the end result will still be there.


#15

I’m not disagreeing that the problem is not caused by Revolut or Mastercard.

But the fact remains that if a merchant attempts to charge your card (any card) for a different amount and a different currency from what you authorised then this is fraud and your first stop is to report the fraud to the card issuer.

They will, of course, try to fob you off but if enough people cause Mastercard enough grief, eventually they will clamp down on the practice.


#16

I was shown the correct amount before entering my PIN. The receipt shows the correct amount. Only when looking at the app later did I discover the conversion and a higher charge deducted. Revolut or MasterCard should ensure their card cannot be used in this way. I did everything correctly and as a gesture of goodwill should be reimbursed by Revolut on this occasion.


#17

The card machine showed the correct amount, the receipt shows the correct amount. Why shouldn’t the card provider reimburse me? They should not allow the practice to happen in the first place!


#18

A gesture of goodwill is optional. Revolut is obliged under the MasterCard rules to charge back an unauthorised transaction. No goodwill is necessary.


#19

That’s easy to say, but it’s not that simple in practice. Unlike charges, refunds can take days to be credited to your Revolut account. Hotels, where transaction amounts are often much higher, can be the worst culprits for dynamic currency conversion. A hotel bill might use up most of your EUR balance in Revolut. If you immediately check the Revolut app and see a GBP transaction, you can ask the hotel to reverse the incorrect GBP transaction and then charge the transaction in the correct currency, but then your balance might be insufficient to cover both transactions during the days it takes for the refund of the GBP transaction to come through.

The only way to solve this malpractice is for Revolut to block it at source by providing an option in the app to block GBP transactions.


#20

Yes, I agree that it would be a customer friendly approach on Revolut’s side to do it like this. I would like this feature. Revolut is already on the forefront when it comes to granular security settings.