Retailers around the world are fascinated by the meteoric rise they’re seeing in global sales and payments. For years now, they've been trying to benefit from global markets and create e-commerce experiences that make consumers around the world feel like they're shopping somewhere right in their own neighborhood. The development of payments without borders is ever-growing and changing — success depends on what retailers can provide to their customers. As retailers continue to refine their processes, three best practices that they can use to help localize the global shopping experience have emerged.
Speak the Language
It should go without saying that customers should have the ability to read the checkout page. In order to continue a transaction through to acceptance, it’s crucial for payment processors and retailers to be able to detect a URL’s native country and serve payment pages in the customer’s language.
This fundamental need in the shopping experience also extends to local currencies. If customers are unable to see an item’s price in their own currency, it can cause them to feel uncertain about what they’ll actually have to spend. To avoid losing sales, and repeat customers, it’s imperative for a website’s checkout page to automatically convert the purchase price to the correct local currency. These localizations will go a long way in a customer’s mind – helping the purchase process smooth and simple.
Understand Local Payment Options
While it’s important to understand the local currency, the same mindset should be applied to local payment options and the payment processing methods that customers may not even be privy to. While some global payment processors may be able to support sales through debit and credit cards internationally, the vast majority of transactions are done using other payment methods. Depending on the region, it’s common to have transactions using bank transfers, cash vouchers and online banking methods.
When a customer pays by credit card, the information goes to an acquiring bank before the order is deemed complete. In cross-border payments, this can entail information from a card originating in one region being sent to an acquiring bank that is another. Most payment gateways, despite being global processors, will only partner with a single acquiring bank in their own country. This often sets international transactions up with a higher probability of being flagged as a fraudulent transaction as it’s part of a different routing system. Working with a payment partner that understands the landscape globally, without sacrificing local knowledge will only help merchants in the long run as they hope to expand their businesses.
Make Sure You’re Abiding by Privacy Laws
Regulations around digital commerce are only continuing to get more complex, and fees for not addressing them correctly can be extremely costly for companies operating across borders. While it may not seem like something to take into account immediately, by acting in compliance to local data privacy (CCPA), consumer security (PSD2) and tax collection laws, customers will feel safer when shopping with a retailer that may not be located in their region.
While payment compliance may seem complicated, companies need to closely monitor all regulations that are impacting payments at all levels and update the technology infrastructure to match new laws to increase sales. Many retailers find that working with a payment partner that handles fraud and data privacy compliance allows them to focus on growing their business as opposed to working through regulatory nuances.
Ralph Dangelmaier is the CEO of BlueSnap, an online payment solution for e-commerce, B-to-B, and SaaS companies, specializing in global payment processing and payment gateway solutions.
Related story: The Secret to Increasing Your E-Commerce Sales by 42%