You may not have heard of The Arcadia Group before, but if you’ve heard of names like Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton Menswear, you know who they are.
As one of the country’s biggest retail businesses, Arcadia has more than 2,500 stores across the UK and currently process millions of card transactions every year. And their bustling London flagship stores are constantly growing as popular retail destinations for overseas shoppers.
Arcadia’s challenge wasn’t catering for UK customers, but rather ensuring that their overseas visitors were also looked after. Arcadia knew that most overseas shoppers liked to know exactly what they’re spending on a holiday, so purchasing in Pounds Sterling using non-UK cards was an inconvenient way for them to keep track of funds.
“Worldpay’s myCurrency has allowed us to add real value to our foreign customers by making the cost of any purchases they make in store completely transparent. They no longer have to wait until they get home to find out how much something has cost,” commented a spokesperson for the Arcadia Group.
Lower bank fees
Arcadia knew word-of-mouth travels fast, and a good holiday shopping experience is always remembered and passed onto future customers. Installing myCurrency has enabled Arcadia to take payments in 20 different currencies, as well as lowering their customer’s conversion rates. It’s also given overseas customers the option to pay for purchases in their own currency using either Visa or Mastercard.
myCurrency guarantees the use of exchange rates equal to or better than those offered by banks, which works out less than using a standard bank rate and paying in Pounds Sterling. It also passes no extra conversion rate fees onto the customer, as it allows Worldpay to pay Arcadia a proportion of the conversion rate income instead.
Fast and efficient
myCurrency couldn’t be easier to put into practice for both businesses and customers. Customers simply insert their card into the payment terminal and if the card is recognised as eligible for Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), the till will present the purchase cost in the customer’s local currency (with Pounds Sterling shown along side to see the difference). This allows card transactions to be processed just like any other card transaction.
“We primarily see myCurrency as a way of improving the experience for customers, rather than a source of income. The simple IT implementation and staff training, combined with the customer service benefits makes myCurrency a compelling service for us.”
A great success
Arcadia rolled out myCurrency to 38 of its most high-profile stores, focusing on locations that see the highest number of foreign visitors, such as Oxford Street, Knightsbridge, London Westfield, Manchester Trafford, and various stores in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Leeds. Since the installation, they have found that now 15 per cent of all overseas customers prefer to pay in their local currency, with Yen and the Australian Dollar being most popular, followed by the US Dollar and Euro.
However seasonal trends and special celebrations throughout the year also prove high turnover periods, with Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Eid in the late summer creating a greater number of sales for those paying in Middle Eastern currencies.
Worldpay’s myCurrency has allowed us to add real value to our foreign customers by making the cost of any purchases they make in store completely transparent.
The service is now available in more than 250 Arcadia stores nationwide, and their 2013 opt-rate and revenue has doubled, with profits continuing to grow.
Overall myCurrency has provided a significant return for a service that requires little investment beyond some basic training for employees.