2 March 2018
Accepting International Payments for Cross-border eCommerce
Once your business has gained a foothold in your local market, it’s natural to steer towards the next question: “How can I sell across the border to international customers?”
Cross-border eCommerce is a massive opportunity and there are numbers to prove this. According to a Forrester Research report, consumers shopping beyond their home country will help generate sales of US$630 bn, which would represent a neat 20% of global eCommerce sales by 2020. Along the same lines, McKinsey predicts that the global consuming class will comprise 1.8 billion people by 2025 fuelled by the penetration of the internet.
At the eCommerce Worldwide Cross-border Summit in 2017, empowering shoppers to pay in their local currencies was a theme that prominently came to the fore. In fact, eCommerce experts at the Summit estimated that 93% of international shoppers prefer to pay in their own currency.
In light of these facts, deciding to take your products to a global market can be an exciting yet daunting time for your business. Especially daunting can be finding the best ways to accept and process international payments. In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know about accepting multi-currency payments as you go global.
What are the Benefits of Accepting Multi-currency Payments?
In a shrinking world economy, more customers are looking for the choice to transact in their local currency. If you have any doubt about whether accepting international payments should be the way ahead, here are some reasons why it is good for your business:
- Increase sales: Expanding your reach gives you access to a wider target market. This increases sales and positions you as a competitive player in your market, helping you grab a bigger share of the pie.
- Eliminate foreign transaction fees: Let’s say an international customer made the full journey through to your checkout page but then saw they were being charged extra for foreign transaction fees. That’s the perfect recipe for cart abandonment. Accepting multi-currency payments can help change that.
- Maintain a credible international presence: Seeing prices displayed in their local currency saves shoppers the hassles of figuring out how much a product is actually going to cost them. For instance, a shopper from Japan would be more willing to pay for a product in Yen than in AUD. Providing clear currency conversion information also helps customers trust you more.
- Avoid chargebacks: No one likes surprises on their bank statement, but international shoppers on an eCommerce site may sometimes not notice that they’re being charged in a different currency. Offering multi-currency payment options is one of the ways in which you can create a more transparent checkout and avoid chargebacks in such cases.
How can you become a global retailer that shoppers trust?
Accepting payments in your customers’ local currency is arguably one of the most important pillars of your global expansion strategy.
Familiarising yourself with the nuances of your customers’ preferred local payment methods is key to winning their trust. For instance, in the United States, customers would rather whip out credit cards or pay via digital wallets while in Europe, real-time payments are highly preferred. In contrast, in many Asian countries, cash is still the king of payments.
To help you navigate the complex maze that international payments are becoming, here are some tips to build trust as you go global:
- Choose a payments provider with a stellar track record: When it comes to money exchanging hands, trust is everything. To maintain high levels of trust, partner with a payments solutions provider with a strong global reputation. Bambora, for instance, is PCI-level 1 compliant and allows you to make payments in over a 100 currencies worldwide. We also offer battle-tested fraud defense solutions that constantly work in the background to protect your business.
- Store your customers’ information securely: The bigger your eCommerce playground, the greater is your exposure to fraudsters. This makes it vital to handle your customers’ banking information with the highest level of security. Choose a payment provider that offers advanced authentication and verification to mitigate risks associated with data breaches.
- Offer multiple payment options: Providing your customers multiple currency options is just as important as offering multiple payment options. Moreover, you should also consider localising your website to display product information in the local language.
Needless to stay, ensuring you’re in compliance with local taxes, fair trade agreements, and customs regulations will help customers on foreign shores see you as a brand they can truly trust.
International Payments - The Challenges and Risks
Venturing into the global eCommerce market means contending with a complex system of currencies and payment methods. Once you have jumped over hurdles such as import and export regulations, packaging and returns policies, and tax-related mandates, establishing a frictionless payments infrastructure will most likely be the next big challenge.
Some of the cross-border payment challenges you’re likely to encounter are:
Setting up your electronic payments system to allow shoppers to accept international payments online via credit and debit cards, mobile payments, and digital wallets
- Setting up new bank accounts for cross-border transactions in multiple currencies
- Comparing payment services providers to choose one that can easily equip you with the right infrastructure, so you can quickly and efficiently offer cross-border eCommerce services
- Fraud defense tools that offer services such as Address Verification Services, Card Verification Values (CVV) and 3D Secure to help you circumvent increasingly sophisticated fraud tactics, especially on the back of a spurt in mCommerce transactions
Bambora helps merchants achieve their global expansion goals with separate gateway accounts for each currency they wish to transact in. To help you create a completely localised payment experience for your international customers, we offer a raft of features such as:
- Unique security parameters for each local store
- Location-specific transaction reports
- Localised web terminals
- Localisation of automated email receipts in different languages
- Unique product inventories and pricing models per location
- Accept multi-currency payments, and they will be billed in AUD
Ready to start accepting international payments online? Talk to us to know how we can set you up for success in international markets today!
About the author
Victoria Galloway is Bambora APAC's Technical Copywriter, and has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.