DCC fees for transactions in same currency as underlying card

Hello Curve,

I have been using my Curve card for about a month now, everything worked fine with my expenses in the Euro zone and with a EUR card :slightly_smiling_face:

However, while travelling in Asia, I have been using a card linked with an SGD bank account and I just found that over 40 transactions paid in SGD (which is the currency of my underlying card) have been charged with extra DCC fees for the equivalent of $20! :unamused:

This is really a bad surprise because I was pretty sure the transactions in the same currency as the underlying card would not have any other fees or consequences considering that SGD is mentioned as a “supported currency” which means it should be charged directly in the currency of the card:
“Please note, if the currency of your transaction and the currency of the underlying payment card used with Curve is the same, Curve will always pass through the transaction with no additional fees.”

There is no mention about possible DCC fees in your conditions.

In short, I just lost $20 of banking fees which I could have easily avoided by paying with the underlying card directly if I knew all these transactions will be subject to DCC… :rage:

This really defeats the purpose of this card in such cases :expressionless:

If you selected SGD as currency within the app, it should have charged the underlying card in SGD.
Make sure, the merchant has not charged your card in GBP thinking its a UK card.
Cause 20$ sounds like a lot, even if Curve would have charged your underlying card in a different currency it would fall under the 0% fx fees.
So it sounds to more me like the merchant has charged your card in GBP, applied their DCC fee and Curve charged your card in SGD then.
Have a look at the transactions within the app what original amount [amount] [currency] it shows.

@Mariton, nothing that you have written is any evidence of dynamic currency conversion. Perhaps you could tell us what happened, specifically:

  1. In which currency did the merchants charge your Curve card (according to the paper receipts and Curve app)?
  2. In which currency did Curve charge your underlying card (according to your underlying card’s statement)?

Hello again,

My underlying card was properly set for SGD, and my transactions were also definitely in SGD (all the transactions with the 1% DCC fee reflect as SGD transactions in my Curve app, not as foreign transactions where you see 2 amounts for the said transaction (1. the amount after conversion in the underlying card currency, and 2. the amount in the original foreign currency underneath).

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is my last transaction with Curve on my SGD card and the screenshot of my online statement:

Interestingly, it shows as a foreign transaction where DCC is applicable, but it seems the transaction was still in SGD because there is no sign of a foreign currency amount for this specific transaction. I will have to wait for the final statement to check if I can get more details…

But in any case, it was not supposed to be charged like this to my underlying card and incur DCC fees, am I right? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

@Mariton, the DCC fee is charged by your underlying card issuer, not by Curve. It’s a separate charge on the underlying card statement. Therefore you need to take this up with the card issuer.

My guess is that your underlying card issuer in Singapore always charges for foreign transactions, whether in SGD or in another currency. Therefore if it sees a charge in SGD from a UK merchant (Curve which it shows with a GBR country code), it charges a fee because it has lost out on applying an FX fee and it calls this a “DCC fee” because it incorrectly assumes that any SGD transaction from a non-Singapore merchant is always DCC. I know of some US card issuers that charge a percentage fee for transactions in USD by merchants outside the United States, so it’s conceivable that your Singapore card issuer does something similar.

Yes, I understand it was charged by the card issuer but this goes against the primary purpose of this card which is supposed to replace most of your cards and charge in the same currency of the underlying card (for supported currencies) without any additional fee like they advertise on their website.

The SGD currency is supposedly “supported” by Curve but what’s the point if all foreign transactions are now recognised and charged as foreign transactions with DCC fees by the 2 biggest financial transaction networks?

This completely defeats the purpose of the card in the “supposedly” supported currencies outside of EUR and GBP…

The problem is specific to the particular Singaporean card issuer that you are using. It’s not a Curve problem. I don’t understand why you’re raising it here, except to warn others who might use the same card issuer, but you don’t name and shame the card issuer concerned.

Have you complained to your Singaporean card issuer? Have you checked their terms and conditions? Did you do so before using Curve?

How do you reach that conclusion? Curve works fine in plenty of currencies, not only in EUR and GBP. The problem is specific to your Singaporean card issuer, but not specific to SGD or Singaporean card issuers in general.


Agree the issue seems to be the card itself. I had a similar issue with an ING Direct card from Australia - it wasn’t via Curve, but was a PayPal transaction. Even when charged directly in AUD they picked up the retailer was based abroad and therefore charged a foreign transaction fee when no currency conversion had to take place. I think it would be worth taking up with the card company themselves and query why they’re charging DCC when they didn’t have to make any conversion.

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Yup, this depends on the underlying card issuer. Some of them charge a fee for any “foreign” transaction, regardless of currency. I’ve seen charges up to 2.5%! However, these are pretty rare (I’ve only seen 2 banks do this). Nothing much Curve can do about this since they’re based in the UK.

Wouldn’t this be solved by Curve just passing through the merchant information? Here’s the idea: More information about the merchant in the transaction details

FYI @Curve_Marie, this may be a duplicate ^

Duplicate - are you referring to the idea or the original post on this thread?

I’d say that the idea would fix the problem stated in this post. Curve should not be reporting the transactions as originating in London and instead it should pass-through the information from the Merchant.

IMHO it should be considered as a defect instead of an idea. @Curve_Marie.

That’s a known problem with paypal that sometimes creeps up. If you contact PayPal they’ll refund you the additional charge.

Ah it was a year or two ago, they wouldn’t budge but the bank waived them as a one off. Now I’m doing 5 tx/mo there’s no charge anyway!

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I did contact my bank and they will not do anything about it because it is part of their terms and conditions that foreign transactions are subject to DCC fees. In this case, this is considered as a transaction from an “online service based in London”.

DCC fees were introduced by the major financial networks when they realised they lost commissions on FX transactions with new generation payment terminals at some merchants offering to transact in the “home” currency of the card. This way they would still win in any case. Not very fair considering the duopoly in this area, but there is nothing much we can do about this.

As a result, most banks will reflect the DCC fees, only few banks/fintechs will waive them (directly or indirectly). So yes, this is not specific to my bank in Singapore, and a major issue to me. As already explained. Despite the number of “supposedly supported currencies”, I believe this defeats the purpose of the Curve card outside of the UK/SEPA zone (except for very few cases of cards/bank that won’t be subject to DCC), my case is a very good example of this :wink:

And depending on the Brexit situation, this may even get worst…

Again, this has nothing to do with Curve and is NOT their fault.
If a bank charges an international fee if the merchant is outside their country, then its their decision.
Unfortunately, there are a few banks which do that, there is nothing Curve can do or change anything about it. The reference LONDON in the description of each transaction on the underlying card is NOT the reason for it.
Any bank can see the billing address of the merchant, thats part of the MasterCard / Visa system. And Curve does need a correct billing address, theirs is in the UK because they are located there.
I also have an account from a foreign bank which charges an intl. fee even thou the transaction is billed in the same currency, even when doing a manual GbiT and the transaction was refunded to the original underlying card, they still charge it.
Its their decision and its in their t&c and when you signed up with the bank of your underlying card you agreed to it.
If you do not agree with it, please talk to the bank of your underlying card.

Unfortunately, this is the case with MANY Singapore(an) banks. I know that from a friend who lives there, that many banks charge a fee for any intl. transaction, no matter which currency it is in, thats just their business way.
Does it render the Curve card for those banks useless? Yes, does it make Curve useless? No, because you can still use your Curve card in Singapore (just like I did last week) and get it charged to your European bank account.

So yes, its bad that the DCC fee applies even thou its the same currency, but its NOT Curves fault nor can they change anything to avoid that (besides opening up another branch in Singapore and have all SGD transaction get routed through that branch)

So I’m closing this thread since all is said already, if you are still unhappy with the fee your bank charged you, please continue talking to them about it.