Issues with POS transactions yesterday - currency selection


background - I’ve been in Peru on and off for 9 months, using Monzo up until recently without issue, recently switching to Starling.

Yesterday, for the first time since I’ve been here, a POS machine insisted on swiping the card and then prompted for currency, which in my complacency ignored and the teller opted me in for GBP (at a terrible rate). I only realised when looking within the app, because there was no exchange rate mentioned.

Then later on, I ordered a pizza from somewhere I use often, and again, they had to swipe the card instead of usual card insert. then yep, prompted for currency selection.

It’s worth mentioning that once they select GBP, the next screen shows it in soles, so if the machine operator chooses for you, you wont know until you get your receipt. Refunds here are not a simple thing.

Can anyone tell me why this is happening? A technical explanation Ideally.


FWIW, a Starling CS rep told me to use GBP, which I definitely do not want to do! hence me posting here.


Hi Adam, we always recommend using local currency to get the MasterCard rate.
Are you please able to send me a direct message on here, as I’d like to correct any incorrect information.
Sorry if we did get this wrong!


Done, thanks :slight_smile:


OK, tried somewhere else today, same thing, currency conversion. There was no option to proceed in the local currency! I declined then paid with Monzo and no currency selection, payment taken from my card in local currency.

Would appreciate to know why this happens, thanks.

I should re-iterate, that this has only started happening yesterday.


Hey again @Adam24218, this seems to be from the POS itself.
Different cards may behave differently.
We are not sure why this has only just started happening to you.
Perhaps some of our other customers travelling will share their experiences.


It’s a ‘scam’ by the retailer so they earn extra cash - every POS should prompt for currency, if it is shown in GBP then you can insist on local currency. If the next screen doesn’t show the GBP amount and you aren’t handed the POS to pick, then you’re pretty stuck - you can complain, but you’re abroad and it’s only 3%. Grrr.


That’s not my experience here. Usually no currency selection, transaction in local currency (which is what I want). My Monzo card works different to Starling in this way.

Monzo/Revolut: always taken in local currency
Starling: a mix of local, choice of local/GBP, forced GBP.