I have a few different services that I sell out of Ontario, Canada. Most sales are done to Canadians in CDN$, however, with one of my services that is an online website subscription service, I get the odd US customer (that number is actually growing. Recently I've been getting about 50/50 US/Canadian clients).
I've decided to accept credit cards now so I was wondering how important it would be to accept credit cards in both currencies.
Right now, if somebody from the states buys from me, I use the exchange rate from xe.com on the day of the sale to give then a US$ amount. They then mail me a cheque for that amount and I convert it to CDN$ at the bank. This means that on some days I loose a bit on the sale, and on others, I gain a bit (since the exchange rate changes obviously).
With credit cards, I know people in the US could still pay and that the exchange would automatically be calculated so I figured it was fine. Some people have said that US clients would rather SEE their funds first. Living in canada and buying from the states all the time, having it automatically converted is natural for me.
Do you think I could lose customers because of this? I mean, the way I see it is that their number is always LESS than what they see on the order page so it can't be THAT bad!
The reason I'd rather not is due to cost. To accept both US$ and CDN$, the CC company charges more and I'd have to open a US$ funds bank account which would have it's associated fees.
The way I try and understand what a US customer would think is if I saw a price in GBP or UK$ or whatever they are called. Usually that scares me off right then and there, because it makes no sense to me and I don't always go and research what that actually is in Canadian Dollars. On the other hand if you put a price on your website with an approximate exchange rate amount so if it is $10 Canadian it is $7.50US then they might understand that.
If you can afford it then offering to take money in both currencies might make sense longterm.
We are located in the US, but on the border with Quebec, and have many Canadian customers that deal with this issue. Their biggest complaint when they only process in canadian currency is that the sale price appearing in the US customers billing statement is always a bit off (like you said, usually in the customer's favor). It tends to be a bigger problem with business-to-business sales when the accounts are being reconciled. Selling to the general public, the main problem they run into is people occasionally not recognizing the charge or not remembering it because the amount is slightly off and initiating a chargeback. One way to combat this is if your descriptor lists an 800 number that is answered by a live person, that way they will hopefully call you first and be able to talk to someone before charging back. Unfortunately, they may not call you at all no matter what you do.
The ones that opt for multi-currency pay the same rates for USD as Canadian and no other monthly fees for both currencies, but they do need the USD account in Canada.