Digitalisation in the retail and hospitality sectors and the benefits of Dynamic Currency Conversion

Friday 23 February 2024 10:30 CET | Editor: Estera Sava | Interview

Sean Crowe, MD of the Payments Division at Fexco and Group Chief Commercial Officer, talks about digitalisation in the retail and hospitality sectors, and how Fexco’s Dynamic Currency Conversion can benefit these industries and digitally savvy customers.


What are the most relevant macro trends in terms of what consumers expect from payment service providers (PSPs) in the retail and hospitality sectors?

Fexco works with over 320,000 merchant businesses that now serve 3.7 million global merchant locations in more than 48 countries – including hospitality, retail, and cruise line operations. The two biggest macro trends that we see are the resurgence of cross-border travel post-COVID and an emphasis on enriching and personalising customer experiences. While there’s an opportunity for these merchants to boost revenue by refining the customer experience through tailored services, it’s not without its challenges. Keeping pace with advancing technology and ever-changing customer demands, especially at scale, requires adaptability.

To illustrate, consider these examples that we are seeing being rolled out:

  • Mobile check-in/out: encouraging customers to use mobile devices for check-in and check-out optimises the process for those booking a cruise or hotel room.

  • Contactless payment: implementing payment methods like mobile wallets and QR codes enhances the speed and convenience of transactions.

  • Mobile ordering/payment: facilitating order placements and payments via mobile devices offers further practicality.

  • Personalised recommendations: leveraging customer data for tailored product suggestions can foster a sense of value, potentially boosting sales.

By integrating these seamless solutions, both retail and hospitality sectors can offer a more personalised experience, ultimately bolstering customer satisfaction and loyalty.

How do fintech services, customer experience, and attitudes have an impact on these digital-savvy customers?

Digitally savvy customers expect top-tier experiences, particularly from financial service providers. They value flexibility, seamless technology, and superior customer service. A study by Vonage found that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great experience while 32% of consumers would leave a beloved brand after one poor encounter according to a report by PWC.

In fintech, consumer attitudes and experiences heavily influence loyalty. The pandemic-driven digital shift has reshaped industries like hospitality, amplifying demands for contactless interactions, online bookings, and clear digital payments. Hotels, acknowledging this trend, are upgrading their systems. This is demonstrated by a recent global Statista survey highlighting that half of travel and hospitality firms see ‘new technology to better serve customers’ as a priority. For fintech and hospitality businesses, a digital-first approach is vital. Efficient online booking, user-friendly payments, and innovations like Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) are central to enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

When it comes to digital payment methods, what challenges do businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors face? 

In the retail and hospitality sectors, businesses encounter challenges when it comes to the adoption of digital payment methods. These include integrating diverse payment systems, managing costs associated with various providers, ensuring a consistent omnichannel experience, addressing cybersecurity concerns, and meeting evolving customer expectations regarding transactions. Additionally, foreign currency management and providing diverse payment options to accommodate international customers pose notable challenges.

What solutions does Fexco bring to the table to meet these foreign currency challenges? 

Fexco offers an array of currency conversion solutions tailored for merchants that cater to international customers. 

  • Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) at the point-of-sale (POS) enables businesses to earn additional revenue with zero FX risk. It allows customers to pay in their preferred currency at the POS, whether it’s online or at a physical location. 

  • The Multi-Currency Pricing (MCP) solution is designed for ecommerce, allowing international customers to browse, view prices, and make payments in their preferred currency. It ensures real-time currency management, enhancing the overall shopping experience. 

  • eDCC enables online customers to pay in their familiar home currency on the payment page, offering complete transparency about exchange rates and margins. This makes customers feel more comfortable and helps them better understand transactions. 

  • DCC@ATM gives international cardholders the option to withdraw cash at the ATM while paying for it in their currency – with full disclosure of the exchange rate and margin. 

  • These solutions collectively deliver a consistent, end-to-end payment experience, ensuring customer satisfaction, building brand loyalty, and generating additional revenue streams for businesses operating in the hospitality and travel industries.

What are the key benefits of DCC for businesses? 

The advantages of DCC for sectors, such as travel and retail, encompass: 

  • Clarity and transparency: DCC enables consumers to see the exact amount they’ll pay in their currency, aiding in budget comprehension. 85%* of consumers value the clarity DCC offers on purchase costs. 

  • Better consumer budgeting: DCC assists with budgeting, particularly in economically uncertain times. 

  • Boost in sales: merchants with DCC report an approximately 11% rise in sales. 

  • Brand perception and customer value: DCC improves brand image and boosts customer experience. 

  • Competitive edge and brand loyalty: DCC in payment methods distinguishes businesses in a competitive landscape, fostering increased loyalty. Qualtrics noted that 79% of consumers show higher loyalty to businesses providing DCC. 

In summary, DCC benefits consumers through transparency and budgeting, while merchants see increased sales, brand perception, and customer loyalty. 

You mentioned transparency there, how does DCC contribute to enhancing pricing transparency for customers when purchasing in foreign countries? 

DCC significantly enhances pricing transparency for customers when making purchases in foreign countries in several ways. 

  • Clear cost understanding: DCC allows customers to view and pay in their preferred currency, providing a clear understanding of the transaction cost in a familiar monetary unit. 

  • Disclosure of exchange rates: DCC offers transparency by disclosing the applied exchange rates, ensuring customers are well-informed about the rate used in the transaction. 

DCC enables customers to assess transaction costs in their preferred currency, promoting price transparency and facilitating informed purchase decisions when abroad.

* 2022 Qualtrics study of 200 merchants and 1000 consumers.

This editorial piece was first published in The Paypers' Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2023–2024, which taps into the fast-growing cross-border market and provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments that are pivotal in this space, being the ultimate source of information for ecommerce businesses interested in expanding globally.

About Sean Crowe

Sean joined Fexco as MD of the Payments Division and Chief Commercial Officer in July 2022. He previously served as Group Treasurer at the Bank of Ireland and as CEO of its Market & Treasury Division. His experience covers payments, financial markets, investment management, and insurance. Sean also served on the Bank of Ireland Group’s Executive Committee and New Ireland Assurance Board from 2014 until 2020.


About Fexco

Fexco, an established fintech player, was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Killorglin, Co. Kerry – in the Southwest of Ireland. The company has 2,600 employees and has operations in 29 countries, with Fexco’s DCC serving 3.7 million global merchants and ATMs across 48 countries.

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Keywords: payments , ecommerce, retail, DCC, paytech, PSP, digitalisation, fintech, digital payments, merchants, ATM
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Fexco
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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