FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the exchange rate information on the new MasterCard Currency Conversion Tool are answered below.
Q: Why did MasterCard create the Currency Conversion Tool?
A: MasterCard's Currency Conversion tool was created to assist customers in Europe to comply with the provision contained in the Payment Services Directive (PSD) that requires transparency of exchange rate information. Specific reference is made to the transparency requirements imposed by Title III of the PSD that apply to payment services made in Euro or any of the official EEA currencies. In addition to providing customers with calculated cross-rates for all EEA currencies, MasterCard has extended the range of currencies to assist customers and their cardholders globally.
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Q: As an Issuer, how can I access the rates for other currencies not displayed on the Currency Conversion Tool?
A: Issuers can retrieve the MasterCard exchange rates for other currencies from the T057 Currency Conversion Rate File. To sign up for receipt of the T057 Currency Conversion Rate File, please contact your Customer Support liaison.
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Q: How are the cross rates that are displayed on the web site calculated?
A: MasterCard exchange rates are based on multiple market sources (such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Central Banks, and others). These rates generally reflect either wholesale market rates or government mandated rates that are collected during our daily rate setting process. The exchange rates displayed on the web site are derived from the buy and sell rates included in the MasterCard daily T057 Currency Conversion Rate File.

Please note that MasterCard does not apply the calculated cross-rates when performing currency conversion. As specified in Chapter 12 of the GCMS Reference Manual, MasterCard applies the USD as unique reconciliation currency to manage all currency conversions globally. Due to possible rounding differences, the published calculated cross-rates may not precisely reflect the actual rate applied to the transaction amount when converting to the cardholder billing amount. The calculated cross-rates will be loaded onto the MasterCard web site on a daily basis. Those published rates do not include the MasterCard currency conversion assessment (CCA) nor do they include any charges or mark-up applied by the Issuer.

MasterCard applies the exchange rate to transactions at the time of settlement, not at the point of authorization of the sale. Therefore, the date displayed on the web site is the MasterCard settlement date (refer to Question 4).
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Q: What is the MasterCard Settlement date?
A: The day of settlement is the day that MasterCard determines the amount to be exchanged between the merchant bank (acquirer) and the cardholder bank (issuer). The settlement date, therefore, typically is different from the date of the actual transaction. As a result, Issuers will not be able to provide their cardholders with the MasterCard calculated cross-rates pre-settlement; that is, before the transaction takes place, or at the time of authorization.
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Q: How long will the MasterCard calculated rates be available online?
A: As of 31 March 2010, MasterCard will begin accumulating up to 365 days of historical rate information.
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Q: As an Issuer, how do I use the calculated currency conversion rates?
A: Issuers may either download the calculated cross-rates and make them directly available to their cardholders or provide a cross-link to the MasterCard public website. Issuers are not permitted to display or present any rates as the MasterCard reference rates, other than the rates published on MasterCard’s website or as derived from the T057 Conversion Rate File. The Currency Conversion Tool is a MasterCard service to which the obligation to comply with the Standards applies. For more information, please see MasterCard Rules, Chapter 3, Maestro Global Rules, Chapter 3 and Cirrus Worldwide Operating Rules, Chapter 3.
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Q: Will Issuers need to pay a fee to access the MasterCard Currency Conversion Tool?
A: No. There is no fee to access the MasterCard currency conversion tool.
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