Expanding your ecommerce business to include customers from other countries is a huge and exciting step. However, taking it involves properly understanding your future foreign buyers and customizing your offerings to meet their unique needs. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of international payment processing before taking the plunge and selling your products or services abroad.
The payment gateway, defined.
If you are currently engaged in domestic ecommerce, you are already familiar with the concept of a payment gateway. In simple terms, this software provides a bridge between you and your customer, facilitating proper payment security throughout the process.
Once your customer presses your “buy now” button, the gateway securely conveys the buyer’s credit card details to the payment network. After the network responds, the gateway returns the transaction details to your website, enabling you to complete or decline the charge. In essence, the payment gateway functions as a virtual point of sale (POS) system, verifying the legitimacy of the customer’s payment.
Any business that accepts credit card payments must work with a payment gateway. That includes merchants selling abroad. Given the importance of cross-border security, you must take time to choose an international payment gateway that protects the privacy, confidentiality, and integrity of your customers’ payment data while simultaneously providing maximum payments flexibility and efficiency.
What an international payment gateway can bring to your growing business.
International payment gateways operate in the same way as their domestic cousins, making the secure facilitation of online payments possible. Consolidating them into your multi-national business model is not just a necessity, it also provides many benefits to your company and the customers you serve.
• Secure transactions. A high-quality international gateway will be equipped with technology that encrypts all international payments. As a result, you can calm the concerns of your potential customers and pave the way toward safe and seamless product purchases.
• Increased revenue. Taking your business global can increase your potential customer pool exponentially. With the right, targeted marketing campaigns and a secure international payment gateway, you can significantly expand your sales volume.
• Greater brand awareness and credibility. As your footprint expands, along with your ability to serve buyers from other countries, your international payment gateway can be an important silent partner contributing to your sustained success. With a positive reputation and increasing brand awareness, you can continue to spread the word about your unique product offerings.
How to select the best payment gateway for your business.
Not all providers are alike. Therefore, it is vital that you understand your own business needs and carefully select a well-respected international gateway provider – one that protects your business and its customers. Look for features including the following.
- Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
- Customization of the customer’s payment experience. This allows you to incorporate your brand’s colors, typeface, and logo, streamlining your checkout and helping buyers to feel comfortable even if they are briefly redirected to a third-party site for secure payment processing.
- Reasonable fees. When doing business abroad, know that you will be faced with additional foreign exchange charges. Even so, be sure that you are not being asked to pay excessive amounts.
- A simplified payment experience, including the removal of redundancies and the option for guest checkout.
- Compatibility with checkout on various devices. Just as is the case in this country, international customers are purchasing more of their items using their smartphones. Make sure your international payment gateway is optimized for taking payments on different mobile devices and networks.
- The ability to accept multiple currency types. You are more likely to complete an international sale if your customer can pay using their local currency of choice. A good international payment gateway will give you the ability to accept a wide range of different denominations besides the dollar, thus reducing the potential for frustration and confusion.
- Flexibility in payment options. Modern international gateways can be set up to provide several different ways to pay. In addition to purchasing with credit cards, you can also allow customers to pay using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, as well as via a recurring schedule. Additional features allow for the sending of electronic invoices, text, and email reminders, as well as the smart management of chargebacks.
- Easy integration with your ecommerce platform. While this is not always a do-it-yourself process, it should also not be ultra labor-intensive or confusing. Do your best to find a gateway provider that has highly rated customer support. That way if a problem arises, you can get back up and running and remain productive with as few problems as possible.
- Fast funding to your merchant account. Separate from your business bank account, this repository holds cash from your international transactions until the customer’s processing bank has sent approval of the payment. Then (and only then), can it be conveyed to your regular business account.
Your international gateway should function as an indispensable intermediary between you and your customers from abroad, ensuring that their buying experience is transparent, seamless, and safe.
At the same time, your payment gateway should provide you the peace of mind that your payments are as secure as they can possibly be. Although globalization can revolutionize the scope of your business and even might turn your brand into a household word around the world, you have no chance of succeeding without the right international payments gateway at your side. Take the time to find the one that is best for you to optimize your chances of growth and international ecommerce success.