Tips for Accepting Foreign Credit Cards

May 22, 2019

Depending where in the country you’re located, tourist season for Canadian businesses can happen at any time of the year. Maybe you own a restaurant in Whistler where the amount of out-of-country visitors booms in the cold winter months, or maybe you own a retail store in Calgary that sees a steep increase in tourists during the Stampede season mid-summer. Wherever you are, tourists continue to flock to Canada to see and experience our great country; and as a business, you need to be ready to accept their payments. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to accept foreign credit cards, consider the following two tips.

Accepting All Card Brands

One of the simplest ways to ensure that you can accept foreign credit cards is by making sure your payment terminal is enabled to accept cards that come from the major card issuers. There are four major card networks internationally that nearly all major credit cards are connected to: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Whether a customer purchases something using a Canadian credit card or an international credit card, their card will ladder up to one of these four major brands. And, by accepting these four at your business, your international customers will be able to pay with their credit card without any issue.

If you don’t accept one of these card brands, say American Express or Discover, it’s important to call your payment processor to find out your options to have those cards enabled on your terminals. With American Express holding a nearly 22% market share for U.S credit cards alone, it’s important these networks aren’t missed out in your payment capabilities.

Dynamic Currency Conversion

So long as you accept all the major card networks, you’re technically all set to accept international credit cards. But, if you want to make the experience even easier for your customers, enabling Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is a great idea. DCC is a secure feature you can enable on your payment terminal that allows international customers to pay in their home currency when using a foreign Visa or Mastercard. DCC supports over 90 international currencies, which can make customers far from home feel more comfortable with their purchase as they know exactly how much they’re spending. If you’re not sure if your Moneris terminal has DCC enabled, contact us today.


If you’re interested in learning more about accepting foreign credit cards, make sure to check out Credit Card Acceptance in Canada: What You Need to Know and Canadian Summers Heat Up with International Tourism.


The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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