We discussed in a previous post the advantage of opening up the international channels during 2009 to expand your business globally. While the increase in the number of prospective consumers will lead to new levels of profitability, ecommerce businesses need to establish how to charge the influx of new customers.
International Payment Method #1: Credit Cards & Online Payment
Credit cards are the primary source to charge consumers within every region where the credit card companies will calculate for you the currency conversion. The downside is that you need to set up a method to charge the cards within your bank which will most likely come at a fee.
A second and more popular option would be to charge to the consumer through PayPal or Google Checkout. While the fee for PayPal starts at 2.4% with a $0.30 transaction fee and Google Checkout starts at 2.9% with the same transaction fee, the billing options provide your business with a secure checkout process on your end and a form of legitimacy for your store.
International Payment Method #2: Bank Transfer
Bank transfers are a lot more common across Europe then they are within North America. The fees that are associated with bank transfers for the most part don’t appear in Europe. Since the payment method is popular internationally, it would be worthwhile to explore the option.
International Payment Method #3: Money Order
Funds are prepaid for the amount purchased. The consumer will purchase the order from their bank within the desired currency. This payment method is similar to a check, but more trusted since the order will not bounce.
Even though the primary payment method for ecommerce purchases globally is by credit cards, whether directly or through and online service, there are still other widespread International Payment Methods. Two out of every three transactions are taking place in Germany are done via payment methods other than credit cards. It would therefore be a mistake to focus on a global expansion plan and ignore international payment trends.