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Simplicity and convenience when withdrawing foreign currency at the ATM

21 Oct 2015
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With global tourism numbers up 4% in 2015, it may be a favourable time to consider how your ATM network could cater for its share of the estimated 1.18bn tourists.

A foreign exchange ATM can be a worthwhile addition to your ATM network, especially if your ATM network includes busy border locations such as train stations, ferry ports or airports.

Unlike standard ATM models which deliver only the local currency to customers, foreign exchange ATMs can allow customers to withdraw more than one currency from a single ATM. Most foreign exchange ATMs allow withdrawals in two currencies and these are generally deployed with the local currency and one foreign option (ATM operators typically deploy additional machines to offer more customer choice).



Ambiguity at the ATM

For example, an American tourist, let’s say Emma, finds herself with a US dollar (USD) MasterCard at a European airport with services to both the UK and the Eurozone. She plans on visiting both the UK and Ireland so she will need sterling and euro. She decides to withdraw $100 worth of each. Faced with euros first, options of withdrawal are €40, €60, €80, €100 and €120. “Which is the closest to $100” wonders Emma? Vaguely remembering a newspaper article she read, she believes euro is stronger than the US dollar, so selects €80 and hopes for the best. She repeats the process with sterling. Not sure of the exchange rate, she simply withdraws £80. Now she has €80 and £80 and will have to check the internet to determine the current exchange rates.

A customer service advantage

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) can be the missing piece of the puzzle to make what appears to be a fairly complex transaction simple by showing the cost of the transaction in a currency the customer uses daily. With DCC, Emma would have seen that €80 equals an estimated $91 and £80 would equal an estimated $124 at the time of withdrawal. So, with DCC, using a foreign exchange ATM she can withdraw euros or sterling with the knowledge of what she will pay for either currency in US dollars. This is added value as it allows Emma to better determine the rate on her transaction.

For the ATM operator, determining which currencies to stock is simple. For example, land borders, ferry ports and train stations generally serve a limited number of currency zones. Airports can be more complicated and analysis is generally needed to determine which currencies are most in demand from customers at busy transit points.


An interesting twist on foreign currency ATMs is the Oki RG7 which can dispense and accept deposits in a wide range of currencies making it a powerful foreign exchange asset for travellers. The deposit aspect of this machine is especially interesting and valuable for travellers returning from trips abroad who need a quick and easy way to exchange their “leftover” foreign cash. 

Fexco’s DCC@ATM

By including DCC as part of their ATM service, ATM network operators can provide superior customer service while unlocking a new revenue source.

If your ATM network has foreign exchange ATMs or if you’re thinking of adding them and you’d like more information on how DCC@ATM can improve your  company’s customer service, contact our Strategic Business Development Manager, Shane McElroy at Fexco.

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