DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion) was created as a financial incentive for merchants to earn more money. “OFFICIALLY” it was created to make it easier to understand for tourists — because the amount they see on the receipt is the FINAL amount they really will be forced to pay.
Merchants that offer dynamic currency conversion usually have signs that say “pay in your own currency”, “pay in your home currency” and sometimes “charge in your home currency”. Regardless of what they call it, do not sign a receipt unless it is in the LOCAL CURRENCY of the country were you are making the purchase and it does NOT have any other currency showing on the receipt.
In other words, the credit card processors determined that most travelers to foreign countries weren’t smart enough to calculate how much something was going to cost them, or how much in fees they were going to pay. So DCC was created to “make travelers feel more comfortable” about spending more money in foreign locations because they could see the FINAL figure to be charged.
In the US, this extra revenue was shared with the merchant through statement rebates. Companies like Elavon, FirstData, Cybersource, FEXCO, CMS Payments and more.
I noticed on a Thailand forum, the following post:
As for Dynamic Currency Conversion, that’s simply a method cooked up between the Thai banks and merchants to give you a bad exchange rate on the purchase you’re making, and keep the funds for themselves, while pretending to be doing you a favor of showing you the transaction in a familiar currency from your home country.
Although I agree with the more simple explanation this poster provided, there is one thing incorrect. According to dozens of merchants in Thailand, MERCHANTS DO NOT EARN REVENUE FOR DCC TRANSACTIONS. In other words, Thai Banks (the credit card processors) have convinced Thai Merchants that DCC was a “good thing” for them. And the Thai Banks have kept all the extra money.
So the business gets the headache of unhappy customers who feel ripped off by DCC but get none of the “spoils” of the game. The chargebacks occur only between the MERCHANT and the ORIGINAL CARD HOLDER. The Thai Bank is not on the line. Only the banks profit from this scheme. They have sold “a bill of goods” to the merchants.