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  • May 17th, 2021 10:24 am
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 16, 2009
63 posts
44 upvotes
Toronto

Shopify store payment currency

We are in the process of lauching a shopify store in Ontario. Given the nature of our product, we expect a lot of sales from the US, and considering to elect USD as the payment currency. As I looked deeper into this, this are more things to consider other than the bigger US market. Wondering if other shopify operators can share some insight on which currency would be ideal to elect as the default currency in Shopify. Few things I am looked into:
1. If the store base currency is CAD, I imagine Shopify would convert the USD sales from the US into CAD and make a spread on the FX?
2. I read that credit card company also charges a foreign transaction charge of around 0.8%?
3. It seems that there arent too many competitive USD business account in Canada. I looked into the popular ebusiness account at BMO, and looks like its strictly CAD only. The BMO rep mentions that if Shopipy were to send USD payment to a CAD Ebusiness account, BMO would automatically convert it into CAD? I would think BMO would make a spread on the conversion as well?

We are new to eCommerce, and any insight or experience shared would be greatly appreciated.
5 replies
Newbie
Jun 19, 2019
6 posts
1 upvote
Our default currency is CAD and we have sales to customers in USA.

1) Shopify pays us in CAD. It is the price we list for online. No FX difference as that would be too much accounting on Shopify merchants end.
2) Our online sales are through Shopify payments. Fixed fee plus 3.5% (average)
3) The last thing you would want is the bank to do the FX for you, terrible spreads. Change bank then. We have a USD account and no issues
Newbie
Jun 14, 2017
39 posts
38 upvotes
ttaepr wrote: 3. It seems that there arent too many competitive USD business account in Canada.
I shopped around to find a USD business chequing/checking account for my Shopify store, and the best options I found were:

1) FirstOntario USD business chequing account. Unlimited free deposits, two free withdrawals per month (with a $200 USD minimum balance), and accepts USD merchant payments from Shopify. They also have an excellent CAD business chequing account with unlimited free electronic transactions and five cheques per month before they start charging fees.

2) BMO Harris Bank USD business checking account. This is a true US-based bank account and it's free if you maintain a $1,500 USD minimum balance. It accepts USD merchant payments from Shopify and is probably the easiest US-based business account for Canadian-based businesses to setup (and the process can be completed entirely over the phone and through the mail). There are extensive discussions on RFD about how to setup this account; if you're interested, search the archives for more details.

I use Norbert's Gambit and a separate discount brokerage account to convert USD from the business to CAD, although you might want to consider Wise (TransferWise) for smaller transactions. Both will beat the banks' currency conversion rates by a wide margin.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 16, 2009
63 posts
44 upvotes
Toronto
Harbord wrote: I shopped around to find a USD business chequing/checking account for my Shopify store, and the best options I found were:

1) FirstOntario USD business chequing account. Unlimited free deposits, two free withdrawals per month (with a $200 USD minimum balance), and accepts USD merchant payments from Shopify. They also have an excellent CAD business chequing account with unlimited free electronic transactions and five cheques per month before they start charging fees.

2) BMO Harris Bank USD business checking account. This is a true US-based bank account and it's free if you maintain a $1,500 USD minimum balance. It accepts USD merchant payments from Shopify and is probably the easiest US-based business account for Canadian-based businesses to setup (and the process can be completed entirely over the phone and through the mail). There are extensive discussions on RFD about how to setup this account; if you're interested, search the archives for more details.

I use Norbert's Gambit and a separate discount brokerage account to convert USD from the business to CAD, although you might want to consider Wise (TransferWise) for smaller transactions. Both will beat the banks' currency conversion rates by a wide margin.
Thank you for sharing the links! Those seem like good solutions.

Does Shopify allow using a US domiciled bank for stores based in Canada? Through my reading on Shopify's website, it looks like the store's bank has to be domiciled in the same country as the headquarter of the store.
Newbie
Jun 14, 2017
39 posts
38 upvotes
ttaepr wrote: Does Shopify allow using a US domiciled bank for stores based in Canada?
Yes, that's how my store and bank account are setup now.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 16, 2009
63 posts
44 upvotes
Toronto
Harbord wrote: Yes, that's how my store and bank account are setup now.
Thank you for confirming that. I re-read Shopify's documentation and this option is indeed allowed for Canadian stores.

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