Foreign Transaction Fees - How Common Are They? Are All My Customers Getting Charged This?

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New Member
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We are a Canadian company but have a US website set up specifically for US customers. We charge $USD and all products ship from/to the US.

 

However we have a Canadian address entered under Settings > Store Address. Some customers say they are getting charged a foreign transaction fee by their credit card company. How widespread is this? Are ALL my customers using credit cards getting charged this, or only some?

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
681 71 102

Hi, @mmmmmmmm

 

I’m Helen from Shopify Support. Great question!

 

Having a Canadian address for your store ultimately means that your store is a Canadian-based business, even if you sell in USD. Therefore, foreign transaction fees for your customers ordering from the USA, is likely.

 

However, this fee is not initiated by Shopify; It's coming from the customers bank. Each financial institution has its own policies and procedures when it comes to foreign transaction fees, which would explain why some of your customers are being charged, while others aren’t. Shopify does not have any influence over this. 

 

To offer transparency to your customers, I recommend including a Terms of Service on your website stating that foreign transaction fees could occur.

 

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify
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Does it solve the problem if we open a US-based USD account? 

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
681 71 102

Hey, @brianchun

 

Your store address is what makes the difference here; More specifically, it’s the country from which your business operates. Therefore, for your USA customers to not be charged any foreign transaction fees by their banks, your store must be based in the USA as well.

 

I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you need any further clarification.

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify
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How do you make your store to be based in the USA then?

 

And How do they get charged foreign transaction fees if I set my store in USD? lol

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Hey

 

I think we understand that it's coming from the bank and why it's being charged, we're just asking how to avoid it?

 

The customers are seeing the price in their local currency but are then being charged an international transaction fee which is confusing/annoying them.

 

If we limit payment methods to Paypal only, will this stop the international transfer fees?

 

Thanks

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
681 71 102

Hey, @ewendeavours!

 

Are you using Shopify Payments in your store? If so, enabling the multicurrency feature would allow your customers to checkout in their local currency, since it sounds like it is different from the currency you are paid out in. For more information about this, and the steps to setting it up, please see this Help Doc for Selling in multiple currencies.

 

And in regards to using Paypal only, please contact Paypal directly for information on how they handle currency differences between the seller and buyer. They’ll be able to clarify if this will work for you as needed via their gateway. 

 

Hope this helps!

Helen | Social Care @ Shopify
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