Before you start accepting cross-border payments, there are a few things to prepare for. First, make sure that your payment partner offers a secure global payment gateway that accommodates the currencies of the countries you are looking to sell within. Protecting payments and your customer’s sensitive information is paramount to successful cross-border transactions and can help to instil trust in your brand.
Consider optimising your ecommerce store in the local language for each country that you are hoping to sell to. This will help to improve your customer’s experience and allow you to clearly communicate your products, services and important information to your customers. Adopting different languages can also help to reduce errors that could cost your business and your customer, and also allow you to offer more effective customer service.
To keep your customer experience consistent across the different countries your business sells to, research and offer popular payment methods for different regions. Accommodating for customer payment preferences in this way can reduce cart abandonment and allow you to make more cross-border transactions.
Once your business is prepared for cross-border payments, you will need to become familiar with the different methods of making these payments. According to this 2018 Global Payments Report which looks at the popularity of payment methods internationally, the two most popular methods are credit cards and international bank transfer.
Taking payment from international debit and credit cards is by far the easiest method to accept payment from cross border customers. This information is entered in the same way as a domestic sale, therefore making the customer experience no different from ordering from any other online retailer. Different card issuers will have different fees for cross-border payments and for exchange rates, be sure to keep up to date with any changes in these fees to avoid unexpected costs for you or your customers.
To receive international bank transfers you will need your customer to supply their international bank account number (IBAN) and bank identifier code (BIC). This is a relatively simple way to accept cross-border payments, although if multiple intermediary banks are involved in the transaction, the payment process can take several days. It’s worth noting that accepting international payments this way does come with some risks as they can be tricky to trace: if any of the account details were entered incorrectly, and the money is wired somewhere other than your bank, it can be tough to figure out exactly where it went.
Understanding and successfully preparing for cross-border payments can allow your business to seamlessly transition into the international market. Cross-border payments can open up a huge range of opportunities for your ecommerce store including an increased customer base and increased revenue.