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Take your small business global with a payment gateway.

Ecommerce has busted the doors to the world wide open for even the smallest of businesses. Thanks to affordable and easy-to-use payment processing innovations, you don’t need to be a corporate giant to accept international currencies. If you’re contemplating the idea of expanding your reach across the pond or around the world, it’s time to learn how an international payment processing gateway should be an integral part of your efforts.

Why go global?

These days, it’s no wonder that so many entrepreneurs are looking to offer their goods and services to customers from other countries. Globalizing your business is a great way to make your brand known to an ever-growing pool of buyers. This can enable you to increase your sales offerings and create specialized niches for specific demographics of customers in different nations. Furthermore, going global means that you will be less dependent on ebbs and flows in the economic conditions of just one geographical location.

What is an international payment gateway?

If you already do business online in your own country, you may be familiar with the general concept of a payment gateway. These act as intermediaries between your website and your customers, facilitating the entire process of secure payment transactions. International payment gateways simply augment what their domestic counterparts do by enabling merchants to conduct out-of-country payment processing in customers’ local currencies. This can offer several advantages to your business. 

• When buyers are given the choice to use the currency they are familiar with, they will feel better about completing the purchase. As a result, your shopping cart abandonment rate will decrease.

• Ambiguity is eliminated when customers see exactly what they will pay. Clear, concise pricing reduces the chances of expensive and time-consuming reverse refunds known as chargebacks.

• Your customers’ bank will not charge international transaction fees, which can often lead to confusion and dissatisfaction. Keeping these fees to a minimum improves buyers’ impressions of you and saves you time and aggravation.

• Customers’ issuing banks are less likely to view a transaction as fraudulent if it is conducted in the local currency.

The bottom line is that if you decide you want to accept international currencies, you will need to find a payment gateway that makes this flexibility possible.

What to look for in an international payment gateway.

Not all international payment gateways are created equal. Before you commit to a specific option, take some time to review what separates the best from the rest.

• Flexibility and scalability. The way your ecommerce company looks today might be markedly different from its appearance a few years from now. For that reason, you need a gateway that can grow right along with you. Failing to consider this vital factor can lead to decreased productivity, lost customers, higher costs, and sales bottlenecks.

• Cutting-edge security. With data breaches mounting in frequency and severity, your business cannot afford to hitch its wagon to a gateway that does not make airtight security the highest priority. If customers suspect that their payments are vulnerable to fraud because of a lack of security in your gateway or website, they are likely to shop elsewhere.

• Ongoing use of emerging technology. When your international gateway provider remains committed to upgrading their systems and safeguards in response to the constantly evolving threat landscape, you can rest assured that you are providing your customers with the safest possible payment experience. As a consequence, you can cultivate strong, long-lasting relationships with your satisfied buyers.

• A commitment to complying with PCI DSS standards. This is yet another way to show your customers that you only entrust their data to providers who ensure the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of the data they store and manage. To that end, make sure your gateway partner has a plan in place to ensure your international payments are PCI-compliant. 

Keeping all of these elements in mind can go a long way toward helping you to choose the gateway that is right for your business.

Additional considerations to remember.

Doing business across borders is not a simple undertaking. Before you take the leap and sign with the first payment gateway vendor you find, consider the following. 

• Expansion can lead to cross-border interchange fees. In your domestic operations, you are already required to shell out a processing fee when you accept a customer’s credit card. If the customer uses a credit card that was issued in a different country from where the payment is ultimately processed, this is considered to be a cross-border transaction, and you can expect to pay an additional fee. 

• You’ll want to “localize” your payment options. This includes more than accepting regional currencies. Before you begin to sell products in a particular area, do your homework to learn what payment types are popular there so that you can provide them. The right gateway partner should have everything you need to make this happen.

Before making any commitments, think carefully about who your international customers are, how they will prefer to pay, and which gateway technology looks to be compatible with those requirements.

Taking your business abroad involves attention to detail. Take the time to choose wisely, and your international payment gateway can help to facilitate smooth, secure sales no matter where your buyers reside.

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