Norway-based technology company Opera Software has added a built-in currency converter to its desktop browser app, meaning users can instantly see how much an item costs in their preferred currency.
While there are no shortage of currency-converter extensions for all the common browsers, Opera has become the first of the major browsers to bake such a feature directly into the app. To use it, all you have to do is hover your cursor over the price you want to convert, and a little pop-up will reveal the price in your currency of choice. The conversion rates are updated daily, based on data from the European Central Bank.
It’s estimated that cross-border consumer spending will hit $1 trillion by the year 2020, according to numbers from Accenture and AliResearch, with nearly half of all web shoppers buying from online stores located in another country.
While a well-built ecommerce store will automatically localize its pricing to suit the location of the shopper, it’s not always possible to do this, due to localization costs. And it’s impractical to cater to every single country and currency on Earth. So having a browser that lets users instantly see prices in their local currency is perhaps the next best thing.
Opera has been going all out in its efforts to turbo-charge its browser in 2016, and has introduced a handful of “firsts.” Earlier this year, it rolled out a built-in VPN to its desktop browser, which was swiftly followed by a built-in ad-blocker. And now it has a currency converter.
“We came together in the start of the year to look at what people need to do online,” explained Krystian Kolondra, head of Opera browser. “We quickly realized browsers were not paying proper attention to the needs of users. People wanted faster browsing with no ads. They wanted a free VPN service and they wanted their browser to help them browse their favorite websites in a smarter way.
“The browser war is back,” continued Kolondra. “We have brought it back this year by presenting a completely new way of desktop browsing, with extra focus on speed, privacy, and smarter battery use. It’s interesting to see others following this track and responding with similar solutions.”