Option to disable GBP transactions to block dynamic currency conversion


As I said, I personally never experienced such a scenario.

But even though it looks like a problem (or even a malicious intent) on the merchant’s side in their system, I don’t know how to prevent it. If I was told that I’ll be charged in certain currency, then I expect to be charged in exactly this particular one, otherwise I call it a fraud.

Perhaps, I would have tried to report this to the payment system? Or give them 1 star with the description in the comment :slight_smile:

Actually, I had one more or less similar case with one Marriott hotel in Hong-Kong: I asked them to charge me in HKD, they said that no problem, but at the moment the transaction will be in GBP, and at the time of actual payment processing it will be charged in HKD. And it was exactly like they said: for the first couple of days Revolut was showing me pending transaction in GBP, and the final processing happened in HKD (and the charged amount was exactly the one from the paper invoice, which was also the amount I saw while booking this stay).


The guidelines for merchants by Mastercard and Visa are very clear about this: DCC must be offered before authorization. Unfortunately, there are cases where merchants do not follow. Sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally. I guess the proper procedure would be to report these cases to the payment networks. :man_shrugging:


Far worse than merchants not following the rule is that merchants’ banks are providing functionality to flout the rule. Often DCC surcharges are divided between the merchant and the merchant’s bank. I would say that it’s the merchants’ banks who are the real culprits here.


Yes DCC is one huge con. A con that’s well known to MasterCard/Visa and POS terminal providers but one that is used and abused ad nauseum.

The code of conduct put in place by MasterCard and Visa is a huge joke. They KNOW it’s being flaunted left right and centre but it’s not in their interest to clamp down on this. MasterCard have admitted to me that they have audited how much consumers pay extra by being subject to DCC but refuse to publish the figures, citing commercial confidentiality.

In my view, this is going to take the EU to ban this unfair practice. Same as they’ve done with outlawing surcharge payments charged on credit cards. The card companies will scream and whine, but they show no willingness to do this of their own volition.


Fantastic point, @Doppjunat. I had already formed the same view that it needs action by the EU. The problem is that this type of payment card oriented EU legislation is usually pushed more by the UK than by other EU countries, not least because of the very developed credit card market in the UK (which resembles the US credit card market unlike other EU countries). With the UK’s planned departure from the EU on 29/03/2019 (even if Brexit doesn’t go ahead), there is currently little political will to implement such legislation at an EU level, particularly when you bear in mind that most EU consumers use EUR-denominated cards within the Eurozone and are therefore not affected, unlike British consumers.


In my experience, Spain and Poland are amongst the worst in the EU when it comes to DCC. All EUR cards are affected in Poland, including Maestro and V Pay cards.


True. But very few EU residents travel to Poland compared to the numbers who visit Spain for example. And most EU residents who visit Spain are using EUR-denominated cards and therefore don’t experience DCC. The biggest impact of DCC within the EU is UK residents spending in the Eurozone, particularly in Spain. And because of Brexit, there consequently is no political will to solve the problem.


Well, now it looks to me that it’s hardly Revolut’s fault as they can’t do anything about that, can they?
There is now an ability to “hide” currencies in vaults, which helps to some extent, but that’s about it.


It’s of course not Reovlut’s fault. It never was. But they can improve the experience for their customers. For example with issuing cards that have different country codes. They are already working on making card available that have Spanish country codes. This would avoid DCC in all EUR countries.

In principle, I can see the concept for a technical solution that takes a merchant’s country code into account (if there exists something like this) or location based data and then makes assumptions about applied DCC and declines a payment based on that. It’s probably impossible to detect DCC with absolute certainty since when an amount hits the system for authorization, the conversion already happened.

But this seems complicated and might even violate T&Cs Revolut has with payment network providers. After all, DCC is a technical solution they offer their merchants. From their perspective, they probably want to make sure card issuers aren’t taking any technical countermeasures to ridicule parts of their offerings for merchants.


@artemsyd - No, it’s not Revolut’s fault. But fault and ability to prevent are two separate matters; don’t confuse the two.


But fault and ability to prevent are two separate matters

But neither can I see how Revolut is able prevent such a thing.
Even if they would have the possibility to issue a separate card for each country, I find it far from being convenient to bring around the whole bunch of cards.


@artemsyd, then you haven’t bothered to read this thread. The way to prevent DCC is clearly explained above in the first post.


You’re right, I totally lost the point from the original post.


Here’s a mock-up of what I think the anti-DCC switch could look like in the app:


Considering that Revolut is aiming to become available in more countries and is planning to issue Spanish cards, what about a feature where one would actively select a currency instead? All other currencies but this one would be declined.

It could be combined with the location based feature. Revolut already sends push notifications when traveling, informing about the local currency and rate. Locking in the local currency would be a logical addition here.


I was going to suggest exactly that, but it seems you’ve beaten me to it :wink:

If you could just select a coin and block all others you would effectively eliminate all DCC problems and never again would you have to worry about pesky merchants or obtuse ATMs and POS terminals.


I don’t think it would.

IN DCC cases there would still be a local conversion in the foreign POS or ATM which would be unfavourable, no matter which currency you had selected in Revolut.

This is because the card is recognised as UK by its BIN. So, for example, you’re in India and have Indian Rupee already in Revolut as the only currency and you block all other currencies. (Just as an example…it could be any other country and currrncy). The DCC process would convert the local transaction into GBP (as it would see the card as being British) at a crappy rate. Then Revolut would be presented with a GBP sum which would have to be converted back into Indian Rupee. Losing more in the process.

The only way to stop this iniquitous practice is to block it at source. And this requires international action and legislation.


That’s not exactly how we are “fantasizing” this feature here:

A merchant won’t charge you in a local currency, let’s say EUR, but in a currency that is the assumed currency of your account, let’s say GBP.

At them moment the authorization hits Revolut’s system, the system could decline payments that aren’t EUR. (<-- That‘s the feature, that needs to be implemented for this.)

No further conversion would happen, because an additional conversion is in control of Revolut, but the initial conversion (DCC) that exchanges into the assumed currency of the account isn’t.

The only point where I am skeptical is that this might violate card issuer T&Cs with the card networks. After all, DCC is a service they are offering for merchants and they might want to make sure that the integrity of their payment network that accepts all foreign currencies is maintained.


Yes this may work in this way. At the expense of the transaction being declined.

The problem then being that the overseas merchant then often claims ignorance of DCC and the POS settings and is seemingly unable to process the transaction in local currency. Leaving you with the option of either walking away or using another card (or disabling the Revolut settings).

But yes, technically this would work.


Neither Mastercard or Visa is offering DCC, they are allowing it and have rules for it, but it’s the merchants bank or payment processor that offers the DCC…
ll’ll attach an image of Mastercard’s compliance guide. If you read the very start of the right column, mastercard clearly states DCC is not their service.