Merchants using Toronto-based Moneris Solutions Corp. point of sales (POS) will have a new feature to help customers visiting from across the border this long weekend, as the payments processor launches its new Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) service.

As of Wednesday, international customers who use their foreign Visa or MasterCard at participating businesses will immediately see the cost of their purchase in their native currency, followed by the option to pay for it either in their own currency or in Canadian dollars.

The hope is that visitors from countries with favourable exchange rates, such as the U.S., will immediately discover how affordable their purchases are compared to back home and spend more, Moneris chief product and marketing officer Rob Cameron said in a June 29 statement, noting that foreign spending in Canada has increased by more than 17 per cent since last year.

The service presently supports more than 90 currencies, including the U.S. dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, British pound, and is easily added to existing terminals, with no monthly subscription or reference fees, Moneris said. Instead, participating merchants share currency conversion revenue with Moneris.

While it’s easy for Canadian travellers to forget as a weak dollar keeps more of us at home, international visits to Canada increased 7.5 per cent between 2014 and 2015, according to Destination Canada, with overseas residents making 2.2 million overnight trips to Canada and spending $3.6 billion last year.

The “Great White North” is a favourite destination for Americans too: according to Moneris’s own data, the number of U.S. overnight visitors rose 8.3 per cent between 2014 and 2015, to nearly 12.5 million, and overnight travel from the U.S. is expected to grow by 3.3 per cent this year, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Based on fourth-quarter 2015 spending data, the top three sources of foreign cards used in Canada were China, the U.S., and the U.K., Moneris said.

The company’s DCC service is available now for merchants using its standalone payment terminal solutions, with more options to be released later this year, Moneris said.

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