<Prev | [Index] | Next>

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2017 01:51:23 +0100

AirBnB detect the currency of payment cards and force charges to be in that currency; users are no longer permitted to chose between AirBnB with their conversion rate, and their bank, with its conversion rate.

The detection mechanism is not perfect, and is incorrectly asserting Revolut
(a FinTech) Mastercards, which are multi-currency, are denominated in GBP.

(It's probably not unreasonable to suspect other multi-currency cards are incorrectly detected. Presumably there are also other causes of failure, which are wholly unknown to me.)

This means that AirBnB are in the cases where currency detection goes wrong forcing an unnecessary currency conversion, which adds about 5% to the cost of a booking.

For a booking of about 1000 euro this 5% is about a 50% addition to the service charge levied by AirBnB.

It seems clear then why AirBnB have taken this step to remove from its users choice in this matter.

The possibility of the computing risk in this case -- incorrect card currency detection -- must have been considered, and so the problem faced by a user in that situation was perceived and understood, but the cost of this risk to users (and so, indirectly, also to AirBnB) are obviously much less than the benefit to the AirBnB and so this risk has been accepted.

<Prev | [Index] | Next>