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Weird credit card charged turned out to be PCBway

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Psi:
Just a heads up in case someone else encounters this.
I had a odd charge on my credit card that i couldn't explain and it took me a while to work it out.

The only info on credit card was

Merchant = "BALUCE INTERN"
Category = Management, Consulting, And Public Relations Services
Transaction amount = 92.xx USD
Original Currency = 82.xx EUR

Googling seemed to indicate BALUCE INTERNATIONAL was a restaurant in France.  :-//

But after checking payments/orders around that time i found i was missing a $93 PCBway charge.
So that has to be it (with some rounding error due to them charging euro for a usd amount).

Why a company in china is charging in EUR i have no idea.
Maybe they charge in whatever currency is lower than nominal so they can hold onto it and exchange back when the market stabilizes.

EEEnthusiast:
This could be money laundering. Instead of crediting the money to China, the money gets credited to some bank account in Europe. The restaurant may be mostly defunct and owned by the same Chinese company which runs PCBWay. Just a guess.

Cerebus:
I don't think you need to go looking for a nefarious explanation. If the charge had been in USD nobody would blink, it's quite common for vendors from 'minority currency' countries to price exports in a stable, widely traded currency. Once upon a time it was UKL or CHF, it's been USD for a long time and given that the EUR is the shared native currency of dozens of countries it's the obvious successor to the others. A currency based on the economies of dozens of countries is always going to be more stable and predictable than one based on a single country currency. We've all seen currencies take a dive on the international markets when some individual countries' Primeminister/President/Chancellor has opened their mouth and promptly put their foot in it.

Plus, a lot of Chinese traders are now registering for VAT for sales made in Europe and I imagine that dealing with the VAT taxation system is made a lot easier if you do your export sales in Euros. Having made that move, it's probably a lot simpler to stick to one 'external' currency for all international sales.

Stray Electron:

--- Quote from: EEEnthusiast on November 19, 2019, 07:31:32 am ---This could be money laundering. Instead of crediting the money to China, the money gets credited to some bank account in Europe. The restaurant may be mostly defunct and owned by the same Chinese company which runs PCBWay. Just a guess.

--- End quote ---

  Not necessarily money laundering. It could be that PCB way is just a small company and doesn't have a credit card service so they run the charge through another business that does.  OTOH if the buyer ever needs to dispute the charge they may have a tough time convincing the CC company that BALUCE INTERNATIONAL is PCBway and not just a restaurant.

SiliconWizard:
Not sure how you stumbled upon a restaurant... This seems to be the following french company: http://entreprises.lefigaro.fr/baluce-international-75/entreprise-844278366
doing stuff in import/export, not sure what exactly. Very small and recent company. Judging from the name of the founder, Lucie Zhan, which looks of chinese origin, we can suppose she may be working with chinese companies to import goods from there. Since you seem located in NZ (from your flag), it sounds really odd that PCBWay would choose to work with a small french company for its international business, especially for exporting to NZ, but hey.

As to the currency, it's probably charged in EUR because it's a french company.

Asking PCBWay about it may be a good idea.

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