Updated: Apr 5
Finally, we reached a new milestone in our development — we added a Currency Rates module in iPackTravel. It is the last of the "basic" travel modules designated for iPackTravel.
Why is it important?
Currency exchange is essential for all travels, whether for leisure or business, so we keep track of currency rates often. Good exchange rate is also a factor to consider when deciding where to go for the next trip. A recent example being the sharp drop in pounds due to Brexit, it saw a big increase in visitors to the United Kingdom. That was a great opportunity for many people to travel to the UK at lower costs (probably still is). Undeniably, the Currency Rates module is an essential travel tool.
Apart from travel, investments in foreign-currency stocks / mutual funds / Forex / etc., and expenses tracking in wealth management applications also need currency rates to calculate the current equivalent values in home currencies. Thus, our finance apps, like iTreasurer, iInvestStock and iInvestFund, have this feature incorporated as well to get the latest rates.
How will the Currency Rates module benefits you?
It is mostly automatic. It identifies your home currency from "My Profile" and use it for currency conversion. It also checks your trip records in "My Trips" and retrieve the foreign currencies and respective rates for current and upcoming trips. You don't have to do anything.
You can specify an amount in your home currency and see respective exchanged amounts in other currencies.
You can add more currencies from a list of 160+ currencies. (Requires in-app purchase for the "Currency Conversion" module. If you have upgraded with "Enhanced Features", you will use it free.)
The rates shown are mid-market values (for reference only).
1. When booking via online platforms, these rates give you an indication whether the service providers mark-up their exchange rates. You can decide whether to use their rates or your bank's exchange rates (when using credit cards), whichever is better.
2. When exchanging currencies, money changers will have final say on their buy / sell rates, but you can check their rates against the reference rates to know if you have better deals.
All rates will be saved on your device for at least 6 hours and until the next launch of the Currency Rates module to reduce frequent downloading that may incur data charges to you. This is especially useful when you are travelling with data roaming (no auto updates, only when requested). 6-hour intervals is sufficient for travel use.
Rates will not be updated twice on the same weekend. There is no Forex trading on weekends, and rates will not change on these 2 days, so there is no need to fetch the same data from servers.
When a new trip is added in "My Trips", the exchange rate will be obtained and saved in the trip's record. It will be updated until the trip is over. The last recorded rate can serve as a reference for your future use.
We wish this new function will be useful to you like it did for us.