In a difficult economic environment, it is even more challenging than usual to find ways to increase revenue and simultaneously improve customer satisfaction. By offering dynamic currency conversion (DCC) services to customers paying with a foreign-issued credit card, merchants can earn extra income, as well as provide a service valued by consumers.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international visitors to the United States in 2008 spent a record-breaking $142 billion—a 16 percent increase over 2007 spending levels. Although the current recession will likely prevent 2009 from being another record-breaking year, increases in international travel to the U.S. will resume as the global economy recovers. International visitor spending in the U.S. soared 77 percent between 2003 and 2008 and experts predict that this trend will continue in the long term. The latest government estimates predict that the number of international visitors to the U.S. will decline slightly in 2009 before rebounding in 2010 and beyond.

This is great news for consumer-oriented businesses, especially ones that have a large number of foreign travelers as customers. This includes—but isn’t limited to—hotels, car rental companies, restaurants, retailers, tourist attractions and online merchants, as well as businesses in states located near international borders and/or in states that receive the highest number of international visitors: New York, California, Florida, Nevada, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey and Washington. The question remains: Is your business prepared to capitalize on this trend? Savvy businesses are always looking for new ways to improve customer service, reduce costs and generate additional revenue—activities that are especially critical during difficult economic times. Offering DCC services at the point of sale enables you to accomplish all three of these objectives by capitalizing on the vast (and increasing) amount of spending by international visitors in a way you may not have considered before.