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What’s the difference between the merchant currency and the card currency?
What’s the difference between the merchant currency and the card currency?

Explore the different methods of settling debit card transactions, the merchant and the card currency, and learn about their advantages.

Nina Wyler avatar
Written by Nina Wyler
Updated over a week ago

Our customers can choose whether they want their debit card transactions to be settled in the merchant currency or the card currency - based on their accounting preferences. Depending on your business' payment streams and card usage, one method might also be more beneficial than the other. In this article, we look at both methods and explain their unique advantages.

0% FX margin & processing fees on debit card transactions 💡

0% fees - what does it actually mean?

Whichever settlement method you select, at amnis you will always have access to 0% FX and card transaction fees, provided that your chosen currency account maintains a sufficient balance.

The due amount is directly debited from your chosen wallet, without any fx markup or transaction fee, regardless of the currency involved. This results in savings of 3 - 5% on card transactions in major currencies and even higher savings in exotic currencies compared to traditional solutions.

Note: You can set your preferred method for settling card transactions yourself and switch between the currency settings in the admin area of your amnis account at any time.

Merchant's currency method

Card transactions are processed in the merchant's currency and debited from the corresponding currency accounts. This option is particularly beneficial if you’re already holding the currency your team is spending money in, eliminating the need for currency conversions.

When to choose the merchant currency
Consider the merchant currency method if, for instance, your German company receives GBP from its UK customers while your team frequently travels to the UK for business purposes, necessitating GBP for accommodation and other local expenses. This method may prove more cost-efficient as it allows you to directly utilize your incoming foreign currency funds to settle card transactions locally.

Please note: In some cases, e.g. if the respective currency account has an insufficient balance or you don't yet hold the needed currency account in the merchant's currency, further processes apply, which can be found in this article.

Card currency method

All transactions are processed in your predefined card currency, which is typically the currency of the country where your card was issued, and debited from the corresponding wallet.

Importantly, for card payments abroad, no foreign currency accounts will be opened at amnis, simplifying and streamlining bookkeeping. Plus, neither foreign exchange margins nor transaction fees will be applied to your debit card transactions, regardless of the currency involved*.

When to choose the card currency
For streamlined bookkeeping: If your team frequently travels or conducts online transactions in foreign currencies, but your accounting team aims to simplify accounting processes, opting for the card currency is the optimal solution. With this method, foreign currency accounts will not be opened automatically, unless initiated by you, and card transactions will be debited in a single currency, consolidating all transactions into one currency for easier accounting.

What's the predefined card currency?

As an example, the predefined card currency for Swiss clients is the Swiss Franc, whereas for German clients it is Euro. Please note that the predefined card currency is set by Mastercard and cannot be changed, e.g. Swiss clients cannot change from CHF to EUR.

You can check your card currency in the admin area of your amnis WebApp under the "Debit card transaction currency settings" folder, as shown in following image:

Kindly note: If your amnis login grants you access to multiple business accounts at amnis, the preferred currency method must be set for each company individually.

Please further note that the card currency is not the reference currency. The reference currency is set by the amnis user and is the currency against which an automatic currency exchange is performed in case a transaction exceeds the funds available in the required currency account.

* To this end, amnis converts card transactions in foreign currencies with the daily Mastercard fixing at 0% bank fee (learn more about the Mastercard rates here).

In case you need further information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or live chat (blue icon in the lower right corner).

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