With international e-commerce expected to hit $8.1 trillion by 2026, cross-border merchants face massive growth opportunities and a lot of extra math to go with it. Shifts in foreign markets, production costs, shipping, insurance, payment delays, and more all play a role when expanding your business internationally.
To help simplify the currency conversion costs involved in cross-border shopping, Amazon launched the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers (ACCS) in 2008, with the goal of “allowing international customers to pay for their purchases in the currency of their payment card, instead of U.S. dollars.”
Today the Amazon Currency Converter is available in 44 payout currencies, helping sellers connect with shoppers around the globe. But like everything else, the ACCS is not without its drawbacks.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how the ACCS works, plus practical steps you can take to get more out of your Amazon payouts.
The Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers
- Amazon’s Currency Converter: What Is It and How Does it Work?
- The Pros and Cons of Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers
- A Complete Currency Exchange Solution
- Get More Out of Your Marketplace Payouts with SellersFi
Amazon’s Currency Converter: What Is It and How Does it Work?
Before the ACCS, receiving and changing currencies across territories was far from simple. Customers didn’t know their final purchase price and sellers had to go to great lengths to set up the right bank accounts, forecast exchange rates, and work with multiple banks in multiple regions to negotiate lower fees.
If you were an Amazon.com.uk seller, you would have to open a separate bank account in the EU to sell via Amazon.de. You would then receive the funds in euros in Amazon Central, then have to head back to your bank to change those euros into sterling.
But that was then. With the catchphrase, “Sell globally. Get paid locally,” Amazon’s Currency Converter is designed to streamline this process, allowing international customers to pay for products on Amazon in their local currency.
Amazon then automatically converts the payment amount into the seller’s preferred currency using a competitive exchange rate, before depositing the converted amount into the seller’s account.
Sellers starting with ACCS need to follow three steps:
- Log into Amazon Seller Central, then navigate to Deposit Methods via Settings.
- Add your local bank account information, add a new deposit method, then assign it to your Amazon store.
- Get paid. According to Amazon, when your information is verified, funds arrive in your account within one to five business days.
While that may seem easy enough, there are some additional costs to plan for.
The ACCS uses a volume-based fee (VBF) to determine how much a seller is charged. This is calculated by the number of sales completed over the past 12 months, known as the Total Processed Volume (TPV).
For sellers who are rapidly expanding across borders, this can be a problem. Because while ACCS fees start at a palatable rate, they can compound quickly depending on your TPV.
Here’s an overview of the Amazon Currency Converter fee schedule for sellers:
- Tier 1: 0.75% fee for revenue equal to or over $10 million
- Tier 2: 1.00% fee for revenue equal to or over $1 million
- Tier 3: 1.25% fee for revenue equal to or over $500,000
- Tiers 4-6: 1.50% fee for revenue equal to or under $100,000
Amazon’s currency conversion feature is structured to reward sellers by discounting fees as sales volume increases.
Sellers can enable or disable the feature in their Amazon Seller Central account. If the feature is disabled, the seller will receive payments in the currency of the marketplace where the sale was made. They will be responsible for handling the exchange rate and any associated fees themselves.
The Pros and Cons of Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers
Is the Amazon Currency Converter a good deal for sellers? While it certainly has a role to play in making cross-border purchases smoother and more conversion-friendly, the ACCS does come with some increased cost risks that may make it harder to protect your ROI on Amazon as you scale your business.
Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits and drawbacks for sellers.
As an Amazon merchant, the ACCS delivers an easy, done-for-you process with a pricing schedule that grows as you do.
Some of the benefits of the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers include:
- Seamless currency exchange across territories: The ACCS offers a quick and convenient way to streamline cross-border transactions. No more multiple bank accounts in different currencies and territories.
- Easy automated currency conversion: By automatically applying the conversion at checkout, the ACCS helps you save time calculating various foreign exchange rates manually so you can get back to growing your business.
- No additional time added to the seller payment schedule: Due to the Amazon Account Level Reserve, it can take more than two weeks for your disbursements to reach your account. Since the exchange happens at the time of the transaction, the ACCS does not add any further delays to this process.
It’s worth noting that while the ACCS doesn’t cause further delay to your disbursement schedule, the increased costs associated with a higher volume of cross-border transactions can cut into your profit margins.
If you’re looking to make the most of your international expansion on Amazon, you’ll need to find a cost-effective way to manage your cross-border Amazon payouts and ensure that you’re not paying high currency exchange fees to receive the money in your account.
The ACCS has some clear advantages for sellers, but there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of. Increased fees, rate fluctuations, and financial complexities are just some of the potential downsides to be aware of.
At first glance, the ACCS fees may not seem like much. But when you consider the full range of fees Amazon charges its sellers, it’s easy to see how these can eat into your profits.
While Amazon’s currency exchange rates tend to be quite fair, the fees don’t stop there. If you fail to align your bank account with the same currency as your payouts, you could end up paying thousands of dollars (or pounds, rupees, or Australian dollars as the case may be) in exchange rates and conversion fees charged by traditional banks.
Although the tiered TPV-based fee structure seems straightforward, ACCS exchange rates can fluctuate significantly.
Consider this clause in the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers’ terms and conditions:
“When using Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers, you bear the risk, if any, that the exchange rate at the time of sale of your products on the Amazon Site, or at the time when any refund, reimbursement, fee, or cost is incurred, differs from the Estimated Exchange Rate and/or the Applicable Exchange Rate.”
Amazon won’t reimburse the difference if you get a refund for $21 but only get back $18.50 when you use the ACCS. This can lead to a ‘hole in the bucket’ situation, resulting in higher costs and lower profits regardless of volume.
A Complete Currency Exchange Solution
For Amazon sellers of every shape and size, there are benefits to reducing your currency exchange fees that go beyond cost savings. Whether your goal is to invest in new products, uplevel your marketing, or optimize your ad strategy, the thousands of dollars lost to currency exchange fees could be put to better use.
When the pandemic hit, health and beauty brand Dr. Gala learned just how important a strong multi-currency payments solution could be.
With the rush of online orders, Dr. Gala’s Chinese suppliers gave priority to brands ordering 30,000 units or more. This resulted in costly Amazon stockouts and serious missed opportunities. “When I wanted to restock, I couldn’t. I went out of stock and it was a catastrophe. All the work I put in, I lost,” says Dr. Gala founder Nessy H.
Dr. Gala needed a currency exchange solution that would help them pay Chinese suppliers faster, in their own currency, to increase their buying power in the face of steep competition. Fortunately, that’s when Nessy and the team at Dr. Gala found SellersFi.
“In less than 24 hours, my suppliers had the money! I had to pay banks previously, Alibaba, or other companies which were transactions that cost hundreds of dollars.”
Whether you choose the ACCS or another conversion tool, make sure you have a system in place to receive revenue and make payments in multiple currencies from one central place.
Look for a global currency solution that offers:
- A multi-currency account: Shoppers should be able to check out using their preferred currency and you should be able to house multiple different currencies in one central location.
- Easy two-way transacting capabilities: Your cross-border account should make it easy to both send and receive funds in various currencies.
- Fair exchange rates: To preserve your margins, look for a solution that offers fair rates based on the real Mid-Market Rate.
- Complete transparency: Your provider should disclose all rates and fees, with no surprises.
Get More Out of Your Marketplace Payouts with SellersFi
When you’re ready to reduce your currency exchange costs, the Digital Wallet from SellersFi is here to help.
Custom-built for sellers expanding internationally, the Digital Wallet offers fair exchange rates and low currency conversion fees.
With the Digital Wallet from SellersFi, you can:
- Get your sales revenue in your preferred currency (35 options available) with no hidden fees.
- Centralize earnings across markets with a wallet-like solution that works like a local bank account.
- Pay suppliers and vendors in 180+ countries directly and in their preferred currency.
- Get a Prepaid Visa Business Card for transactions that require a credit card with zero fees.
Looking to boost cash flow? Skip the wait of the Amazon account level reserve holding period. The Amazon Revenue Advance gives you access to your full payout without waiting for Amazon’s 14-day disbursement.
Register today and start creating a custom funding strategy that puts you in control.