ITOCHU Announces Commencement of UK Travelex Group Foreign Currency Credit-Card Transaction Service in Collaboration with UC Card
June 4, 2014
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has concluded an exclusive contract with the UK Travelex Group (headquartered in U.K.; Peter Jackson, President; hereinafter “Travelex”) to extend the Foreign Currency Credit-Card Transaction Service for Foreign Visitors to Japan “Travelex Currency Select” to the Japanese market. In collaboration with UC Card Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Kazunari Higuchi), which is responsible for affiliated stores business, ITOCHU will commence this operation for those affiliated stores from June. Companies wishing to offer this service can do so by concluding a contract with UC Card.
Ordinarily, when foreign visitors to Japan use a foreign-issued credit card, the transaction is on a yen basis at the time of use, with the payment amount first calculated in the foreign cardholder’s domestic currency after the exchange rate has been confirmed, before being advised to the customer, who then pays the amount spent. If a credit card transaction terminal offering Travelex Currency Select is used, the payment amount in the domestic currency of the user at the time the card is used is shown, allowing the foreign cardholder to select to proceed with the transaction on a yen basis as usual, or to confirm the payment amount in their domestic currency (domestic currency settlement). Domestic currency settlement removes the worry associated with the risk of fluctuating exchange rates, offering the consumer peace of mind (see image of Domestic Currency Settlement on next page).
The service is available for 29 currencies, including the US dollar, Euro, and Taiwan dollar, which is higher than that offered by any the company’s competitors.
Since launching domestic currency settlement for foreign cardholders in Japan in 2009, UC Card has introduced terminals offering this service into mass merchandisers, hotels, and other establishments nationwide.
Harnessing the know-how of both companies to promote sales, ITOCHU and UC Card aim to introduce terminals offering Travelex Currency Select into more than 500 stores by March 2015.
In 2013 the number of foreign visitors to Japan reached 10 million for the first time. This number is expected to increase further, with a government target of 20 million by 2020. It is therefore planned to develop other new services for foreign visitors to Japan as required. Furthermore, exploiting the ITOCHU Group network overseas, this service will be expanded mainly to countries in Asia such as China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Image of domestic currency settlement
UK Travelex Group
Travelex Group is the world’s leading foreign exchange company, with more than 1,500 directly managed foreign exchange branches in the major cities and international airports of the world, as well as 1,250 ATMs in at least 27 countries. More than 40% of the 1.07 billion people per year travelling overseas will transit an airport that has a Travelex branch. These are located in the world’s major airports: Amsterdam, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York, Paris and Sydney. Over 2,000 customers throughout the world are using these branches per hour.