Base Currency and Display Currency in Magento 2

In international trade, currency is an important thing that goes with product price, defining the exact price for products. To avoid mistakes in setting up price in Magento 2, you  should clearly understand 3 definitions belonging to currency configuration: base currency, default display currency and allow currency.

Base Currency in Magento 

Base currency in Magento is a currency set up as default in backend and is used in setting product price in backend. It only can be set at global/ website scope and applied for all stores/ store views. It means that admins are not able to set up base currency for each store view. For example, in website X, base currency is $, price of product Joust Duffle Bag is 50. So, in all stores/ store views belonging to websites X, base price of this product  is $ 50.


This currency will be used when customers check out and finish payment.

Default Display Currency in Magento 

Default Display Currency in Magento is used to display with product price in the frontend. It is independent with base currency. Admin can set up default display currency for each store view, so that price in each store view can be displayed in frontend with different currencies.

In case default display currency of a store view is the same with base currency of website, the price displayed in frontend will be the same with price set up in backend.

In case, default display currency of a store view is different with base currency of website, price displayed in frontend will be defined by currency rate with the formulate:

Display price = Base Price x Currency Rate

For example:

- Base currency of website X is $. Base price of product Joust Duffle Bag is 50

- Store view French in website X has € as default display currency 

- Currency rate is 1$= 0.5 €

In this case, display price in store view French is 50 x 0.5= 25 €


Remember that currency rate only can be set up at global scope. It can be set up manually or imported via third- party provider such as Yahoo Finance Exchange, Webservice...

When customers pay for the orders, base price with base currency will be applied rather than display price.

Allowed Currency in Magento  

Allowed currency is a kind of Magento currency which is allowed to use in global/website/store/store view depending on scope configuration. It can be used as base currency in global/ website scope or as default display currency.

If currency rate is set up corresponding with each allow currency, allow currency will be displayed in frontend with default display currency. Users can switch among these allow currencies and price will change based on currency rate.

How to Set up Currency in Magento 2 Backend

Set up scope for base currency

Go to Store → Configuration → Catalog → Catalog → Price → Catalog Price Scope, select Global or Website.

set-up-catalog-price-scope-in-Magento 2

However, there is an issue that Magento 2 default just supports setting up Website scope for base currency. If you want to set up base currency at the level store view, let's take a look a very powerful tool, which is one of the outstanding Magento 2 extensions of BSSCommerce Store. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

Set up currency

Go to Store → Configuration → Currency Setup → Currency Option.
- Select Base Currency for global/ website scope
- Choose store view and set up Default Display Currency/ Allow Currency for each store view as wish.

currency-setup-Magento 2

You cannot select base currency for each store view which is a drawback of Magento defaut. However, it is easily overcome by using an assisted module called Multiple Store View Pricing. SEE MORE ABOUT MODULE! 

Set up currency rate

Go to Store → Currency → Currency Rate.

currency- rate- setup- Magento 2

In conclusion, in default Magento 2, base currency is set up to manage price in backend while display currency and allow currency are used to show price in frontend. Base currency only can be set up at global/ website scope while display currency and alow currency can be set up for each store view. We can adjust the relationship among these kinds of currency through currency rate.

Drawback of Default Magento 2

There is a problem that when customers check out, base price with base currency will be applied to calculate the final price. It means currency for check-out is fixed in all store views as base currency. It may lead to inconvenience for customers because they must use an unfamiliar currency if base currency is not their local one. For example, a French customer can see product price with Euro currency in French store view, but he must check out with price in dollar currency.

How can we get rid of this problem? Do you think about a solution that allows customers to checkout with Display currency of the current store views that customers are selecting?

We would like to suggest Checkout with Display Currency for Magento 2 Extension that helps your customers to checkout with their own currency corresponding to store views. This module wil overcome default Magento that forces customers to only checkout with base currency of the whole website. Therefore, customers now don't need to worry about currency rate fluctuation or rate differences between countries. They can absolutely pay with their own currency conveniently ever.

You can see the following example: Euro is set up as display currency of French store view in the admin. We add a product to cart in the English store view and go to checkout. The currency is used to checkout now is Euro (display currency of French store view):


Moreover, you can easily checkout with display currency of store view via online payment methods supporting multiple currencies such as Paypal, Credit Card, ...

For example:

magento-2-checkout-display-currency-paypal Checkout with Euro - display currency of French store view


Base currency and Display currency is two important factors for a Magento sites, especially a website inclusing multiple stores or multiple store views. Therefore, once you get a complete understanding about these Magento terms, you can use to operate your business more easily.


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