CIBC adds currency converter tool to app

Source: CIBC

With more than half of Canadian households packing their bags and travelling abroad* each year, making informed decisions around foreign currency exchange is key to ensuring peace of mind when overseas.

Travellers want to know how much value they’ll get for their dollar against local currencies. Others wonder whether to pay for their purchases in local or Canadian currency when presented the option at checkout.

To help address these travel pain points, CIBC is introducing Travel Tools, an in-app feature developed in collaboration with National Australia Bank (NAB) and Visa as a way to offer clients transparency when using their money abroad.

Launching July 24, when clients touch down on their next trip, their CIBC Mobile Banking App will use GPS location to automatically default to indicate what real time exchange rate they will get if they pay on their Visa card (including the foreign exchange fee).

By instantaneously showing the cost of the purchase in local and Canadian currency, clients can make informed decisions when merchants present payment options in multiple currencies, by comparing the exchange rates displayed on the app.
“We’re continuously evolving our mobile technology to provide a more personalized banking experience for clients, which includes access to relevant information at time when it’s most needed, like when travelling,” says Steve Webster, Vice President Travel Cards, CIBC. “We are adapting to how our clients use their mobile devices, which is increasingly about delivering advice, rather than just conducting routine banking transactions.”

The collaborative work stems from CIBC’s longstanding relationship with Visa, alongside the innovation alliance with NAB that was announced last September. NAB announced their new travel tools in early June 2017, which implement Visa APIs from Visa Developer Platform to help deliver new payment customer experiences.

“Over the last few months we worked with CIBC and Visa to develop customer solutions that improve the travel experience and give our customers more certainty and transparency when using their money abroad,” says Andrew Butterworth, NAB General Manager Innovation Management.

“The Visa Developer Platform was designed to provide open access to our technology for our partners in an effort to build more dynamic experiences for consumers,” says Derek Colfer, Head of Digital Technology, Visa Canada. “We are thrilled that this first co-creation with a Canadian Visa issuer will help Canadians travel abroad freely this summer.”

Available on the CIBC Mobile Banking App (iOS or Android), Travel Tools provides:
• Foreign exchange rates and information for 152 currencies
• The local exchange rate likely to apply when transacting on a CIBC VISA card and guidance on applicable fees that may apply when transacting
• Advice when given multiple currency choice options by merchants when paying for a purchase (i.e., option of paying in local or Canadian dollars)

Travel Tools is part of a range of products and services CIBC offers for travelling abroad from purchasing foreign currency in advance ( in a banking centre, delivered directly to your home, or picking up at Pearson Airport) – to a suite of foreign currency Prepaid Travel Cards – and now to educating clients on the spot on the costs associated with using their Visa Card or having merchants conduct the currency transaction for them.

“With Canadian international travel up 3.5 % in the first quarter of 2017* alone, now more than ever we are offering meaningful mobile advice to our clients so they can focus on enjoying their trip knowing we’re supporting them before, during and after their travel all from the palm of their hand,” adds Webster.

CIBC's Mobile Banking App is available for download from the Apple iTunes Store and the Google Play Store.

*52% of Canadian households travel abroad every year; Canadians international travel was up 3.5% in Q1 2017 (Visa, 

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