Are you thinking about expanding your business so that you can serve customers abroad? Tapping into the global marketplace can grow your customer base and help to catapult your retail operations to the next level. Before you take the plunge, however, you should devote time to understanding the potential benefits and pitfalls of multi-currency payment processing, as well as how a payment gateway can facilitate a frictionless and secure shopping experience for your customers.
Benefits of accepting multiple currencies.
If you’ve ever contemplated purchasing something from a website based in another country, you might have noticed that the default currency was not your own. This may have left you somewhat unsettled as you wondered exactly how much you would actually need to pay for your chosen products. If the site was thoughtfully constructed, there was probably a ready solution to your problem in the form of a currency converter that translated the default currency into your own.
When you sign up with a secure payment gateway that accepts your international customers’ native currencies, you are far more likely to see an increase in your sales. What’s more, your site will be attractive to a greater number of potential buyers who will respond positively to your willingness to accept their Euros, Yuan, etc.
There are also compelling cost savings involved when you partner with the right payment gateway for your international transactions. For one thing, you can streamline your finances better when you have a single website for all of the countries you serve. When your customers are allowed to pay in their own currency instead of in a foreign denomination using their credit cards, they won’t be charged expensive cross-border fees that can appear as if they are coming from you when they originate from their own card-issuing banks.
Things to be on the lookout for when accepting other currencies.
Although you may have the customer service and competitive advantage when you accept foreign currencies, you will find that it comes at a price. For one thing, your international website will involve a higher level of maintenance. Furthermore, you can expect to pay higher exchange rates for the foreign currencies supported by your website.
Another important issue that must be at the forefront of your mind as you expand your business is the need to understand the tax regulations and other laws in the countries you serve. Many business owners elect to outsource this task to knowledgeable professionals from the nations in question to ensure that every detail is covered and compliance is thorough. While this may represent an extra investment you had not expected or budgeted for, most entrepreneurs find that the peace of mind that enlisting this expertise provides is well worth the expense.
The role of a payment gateway in international transactions.
As an online business owner, you already know the importance of having a robust ecommerce platform to streamline your payments and back-office operations. However, you may not have put much thought into the payment gateway that efficiently and securely facilitates your customers’ payments.
Many of the benefits that a gateway offers to your domestic customers can also be enjoyed by your international buyers. For one thing, your gateway can help to protect you against chargebacks, the bugaboo of any retail operation. There are many reasons for these forced refunds to customers. One of the most common occurs when a person’s credit card information has been stolen and unwanted purchases are subsequently made. Having a secure payment gateway for your multi-currency payment processing means that shoppers’ credit card details are masked from hackers via sets of randomly generated numbers. Although this precaution will not eliminate all chargebacks, it, combined with transparency and good communication on your part, can go a long way toward protecting your interests as a merchant.
Another important advantage that a high-quality payment gateway provides is enhanced security. Demonstrating compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is one of the best ways that your gateway provider can prove its commitment to protecting sensitive cardholder data in several areas.
• Secure networks and systems.
• Strategies to identify and manage vulnerabilities.
• Control measures regarding user access.
• Regular monitoring and testing of networks and systems.
• Implementing, maintaining, and providing upgrades for a comprehensive information security policy.
If you’re in the market for a new payment gateway to accept international payments, make sure that the candidate you ultimately choose is PCI-compliant, and is willing to answer all of your questions about the information and data security measures they have taken.
Finally, your payment gateway is only as good as its ability to integrate with the other business operations software you have already put in place. Glitches in the streamlined operations of these multiple systems can result in lost transactions, processing, and payment delays. Not to mention, expensive fees.
Introducing your business to global customers is a bold and exciting step. Before you take the plunge, do your homework to understand your new customers, as well as the legal and cultural landscape in the countries you plan to serve. Once you are armed with these details, find a payment gateway that will facilitate a clear, safe, and secure payment experience for both you and your customers. Knowledge and preparation now will lead to smoother operations and ultimate success later as you expand your ecommerce footprint.