The race is on − keep the cash flow coming this weekend

November 15, 2013

This year’s Formula 1 race is the second to be held at the Circuit of the America’s (COTA). Last year the event drew an estimated crowd of 300,000 with more than a quarter million fans participating in the F1 events. With the influx of people visiting each year, many of whom are from overseas, Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin advises business owners to be prepared and educated on foreign currency exchange rates.

According to COTA, Austin’s Grand Prix is expected to draw approximately 250,000 spectators. In 2012, tickets were sold to guests in 46 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. The event generated $547 million in revenue for the state of Texas from lodgings, ground transportation, food and beverage, alcohol, merchandise, shopping and entertainment.

To avoid turning away potential customers who haven’t had a chance to visit a currency exchange location or bank, some business owners might find it advantageous to accept foreign currency.

If you’re a business owner considering accepting foreign currency, BBB has this advice:

Check with your bank. Speak with your local bank to ensure it will accept foreign currency deposits. If so, find out if there are any fees associated with depositing foreign currency. If you have a merchant-services account, inquire if a conversion fee is applied to any foreign currency transaction.

Beware of additional surcharges. Both Visa and MasterCard are global institutions and cards that bear their logo are accepted in every store that accepts that brand of card; however, both issuers can add surcharges that can range between .5 and 1 percent.

Have an updated conversion sheet. Have a currency converter sheet near the register to help with transactions. The U.S Department of Treasury is a great resource for up-to-date foreign currency rates.

Be aware of ever-changing exchange rates. There could be a slight risk of accepting foreign currency as the value of the currency can decrease. However, the value of the currency is just as likely to increase, which would produce a slight gain.