One of the perks of operating an online business is that you don’t have to limit yourself to a domestic audience. With the internet available to users worldwide, there’s the potential of growing into an international brand. But of course, catering to such a wide market entails the question of payment logistics. How can you accept payments from buyers from halfway around the world?
An international merchant account paves the way for businesses to accept payments in various currencies from all over the globe. These days, there are lots of providers that offer international merchant accounts, but these three vetted choices are often considered the best.
Having been around for just a few years shy of a decade, Payment Cloud has easily become one of the most trusted names in the merchant service arena. Their reputation is so pristine in fact that merchant service providers will refer certain high risk and international clients that can’t accommodate to Payment Cloud. For instance, Dharma has been known to point applicants to Payment Cloud if 10% or more of their sales are international.
Specializing in online or digital transactions, Payment Cloud’s solutions are mainly targeted towards merchants that operate online. They work together with Authorize.net — a payment gateway provider that’s particularly experienced in catering to buyers from outside of their clients’ locale.
If there’s anything that might limit Payment Cloud’s services, it’s that they don’t have a lot of solutions in terms of brick-and-mortar point-of-sale systems. Nonetheless, if you’re operating a business that mainly runs online, that shouldn’t be much of an issue especially since international buyers aren’t likely to pay with a swipe anyway.
If you run an international business that sees large volumes of transactions each month, then Host Payment Services might be for you. This provider has become an item in many best-of lists because of its efficient application process that requires zero set-up fees, no early termination fees, and no monthly minimums.
Visit their website and you’ll find that pricing for their services is plainly stated to give you a better idea of what you can expect in case you decide to work with them. International cards are charged between 1.10% to 1.98% plus the interchange fee. International transaction rates imposed by the brand on the card fall between 2.5% and 3.0%.
Aside from their transparency with their pricing, Host Payment Services also provides its clients prompt customer assistance 24/7. Perhaps the only potential downside with the provider is that they charge annual and monthly fees which may add a palpable weight to the cost of keeping your merchant account active.
Durango Merchant Services might not offer the cheapest rates and fees on the market, but their tailored solutions and fraud protection features make them a solid choice for businesses hoping to extend their reach internationally. They offer contracts with zero early termination fees using a tiered pricing structure, however, it may be possible to negotiate for interchange-plus if you feel that would benefit your business a little better.
Their proprietary gateway which they provide at no added cost provides solutions for eCommerce merchants. And because they’re a registered ISO in Europe, they provide most of their international merchant accounts and currency conversion solutions to most countries in the EU. They also provide the same to Canada, the UK, and Panama.
Just like many other merchant service providers, Durango Merchant Services doesn’t give any clear-cut figures on their website to tell you how much you should expect to pay. Fortunately, their customer support team is highly responsive, so you should get a quick response to any queries sent their way.
Merchant account and service providers abound. So with all the different options within reach, it can be difficult to pinpoint a provider that’s truly cut out for the job of catering to your business’s international merchant account needs. That said, before you sign any contracts, see to it that you consider these factors to land the best provider for your situation:
International transactions are among the most expensive terms of fees and charges. Altogether, you could be paying up to 8.0% of the transaction cost in fees alone, plus fixed interchange if your contract entails it. So unless you want to lose a large chunk of your profits to pay for expensive fees, see to it that you partner up with a provider that offers low rates for every transaction. It also helps to avoid contracts with added charges to lighten the burden on your cash flow.
Providers will accommodate various currencies depending on your need and their capacity to process certain payment currencies. Consider your audience and the locations that you think you’d want to cater to. While it does seem ideal to be able to cater to every currency in the world, it’s more realistic and practical to just choose the ones you think you’ll encounter.
Most of the time, going international also means increasing your risk. Fraud and chargebacks are more common with businesses that cater to clients from outside of their domestic audience. Choosing a merchant service provider that offers robust fraud and chargeback protection tools can help you mitigate the risks and anticipate potential fraud before it happens.
No one wants to overhaul existing web-based software just to accommodate a new provider. Those that easily integrate with existing facilities make it easier to make the transition. Some providers can seamlessly incorporate their features into your existing shopping cart, including features that detect where website visitors are located and then automatically adjust product currencies to reflect their own.
An international merchant account can open new doors for your business, but only if you partner up with the right merchant service provider. Consider these bets for the top international merchant account providers and enjoy low rates, prompt customer support, and tailored solutions to grow and protect your business — all in one go.
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