Groupon to remove currency conversion fees

A hidden fee charged for purchases in Australian dollars on voucher site Groupon is set to be removed.
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01.Hidden conversion fees

keyboard with a 'buy now' button

Discount voucher site, Groupon, has flagged that it is planning to axe the currency conversion fee charged to customers when purchasing deals from its website in Australian dollars.

Australians shopping on the Groupon website can be slugged with a fee of between 1.5 and 3 per cent by their credit card provider because the company's payment gateway is located offshore.

Groupon's media spokesperson, Amy Glancey, said that Groupon Australia is currently in talks with a local payment gateway provider so that the international transaction fees won't apply. However she was not able to commit to a time frame for when it would be axed.

"We're hoping sooner rather than later," Glancey said.

Groupon's policy is to refund the fee, no questions asked, if customers contact them. However, many customers may not even realise that they are being charged the fee as the policy is not spelt out on the site's payment page, only in the Terms and Conditions and FAQs. Customers have only sought a refund for one per cent of all transactions.

Groupon doesn't administer or retain any of the fees charged as they are imposed by customers' credit card providers.

International currency conversion fees on purchases made in Australian dollars are a growing area of concern. Some overseas sites now preconvert the transaction into Australian dollars, and then some banks may still charge a currency conversion fee.

Groupon is one of the top five players in the group voucher market, according to Telstye, an industry which generated around $501 million in 2013.



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