What is the most transformative invention in world history? There are a lot of possibilities. Is it the light bulb? Perhaps the printing press? Or maybe it’s Eli Whitney’s cotton gin. They all rank up there among the very best of them all, but equally as strong a case can be made for the internet. The worldwide web has revolutionized business processes around the globe. That’s because, in addition to advertising to potential clientele half a world away, business owners like yourself can seamlessly accept online payments from them.
It’s all made possible by leveraging international payment processing services. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of what we do in terms of payment services and more, here’s some more information about international payment processing services, how you go about accepting international credit card payments as a small business and a few more details about the limitless possibilities at your fingertips through international payment solutions and the ways to accept payment of all types.
How do you go about accepting international payments?
With an estimated 4.8 billion internet users worldwide, according to the most recent figures available from Internet World Stats, online connectivity has dramatically increased business owners’ prospective pool of customers. The simplest, most straightforward way of doing this safely is through something called an international payment gateway. An international payment gateway is just like it sounds – it’s essentially a portal that opens the door (figuratively speaking, of course) to credit card or debit card payment authorization. This is done by confirming all the details on the card itself, including who owns the card and the company or bank that issued it. From physical card-reading devices at brick-and-mortar stores to tablets that double as point-of-sales stations, these are all types of payment gateways, which serve as the go-between for the customer making the payment and the credit card company or bank that issued the card originally.
Of course, when your customer is in London or Auckland and you’re in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, accepting secure credit card payments isn’t as simple as inserting or swiping into a physical point of sales unit. What’s more, there are well over 160 currencies in existence – and that’s just the ones recognized as such by the United Nations.
“Multi-currency payment gateways make foreign exchanges simple and more convenient.”
The way around this is by leveraging a multi-currency payment gateway. From PayPal to Worldpay to Stripe and many more, multi-currency payment gateways make foreign exchanges simple and more convenient for everyone involved in the transaction. In particular, the buyer, but also the company that is selling the product or service.product or service.
In addition to translating exchange rates from euros to pesos or to dollars, international payment processing services ensure that all the details on the credit card are accurate and that the transaction fully goes through electronically so it can seamlessly go through the merchant account and eventually to your business’ account. In short, without an international payment processor, cross-border buying and selling and your ability to accept payments become a whole lot more complex and inconvenient.
What are currency conversion services?
As previously noted, there are at least 160 different currencies that people use on a day-to-day basis. From the yen in Tokyo to the peso in Panama, currencies can be a moving target, as at any given moment, other countries’ currency valuation relative to the U.S. dollar is subject to change, sometimes quite significantly.
Currency conversion services specialize in, well, converting one currency to another. Generally speaking, financial institutions and processors involved in currency conversion usually charge a small fee. That fee is typically a certain percentage of the purchase price.
There is a slight difference between foreign transaction services and currency conversion services. The main distinction lies in who is performing the service. Again, generally speaking, foreign transaction services and fees are imposed by credit card issuers, such as Visa or Mastercard. Additionally, these are relevant when customers send money from overseas or out of the country.
“Currency conversion services are typically undertaken by credit card payment processors.”
Currency conversion services, on the other hand, are typically undertaken by credit card payment processors, meaning the companies that process credit card transactions well before they wind up in the merchant account. When fees are applied, they’re in addition to the foreign transaction fee. Who ultimately pays these fees – the customer or the merchant – is frequently dependent on the issuing bank or credit card company.
Are international banks or money transfers safe?
Identity theft is a major issue as cyber attackers are constantly reworking their conniving strategies to steal people’s highly sensitive information and their life savings. The more steps involved in relaying global payments, the greater the risk.
Fortunately, thanks to encryption technology, multi-factor authentication, and other defensive strategies, fraudsters are on the run. However, they’re clearly not hiding, as they’re always looking for ways to outmaneuver firewalls and exploit openings.
However, it is important to note that if your business is going to be offering your goods or services globally, it is always best to implement an IP enabled currency converter on your website so your customers will be able to check out in their local currency. Allowing your customers to check out with their local currency will ensure greater conversions and happy customers.