International payment gateway
What is an international payment gateway?
Chances are, you already know that a payment gateway is a special software that allows businesses to accept online credit or debit card payments from customers. Respectively, an international payment gateway is a technical solution that allows for authorising international card payments. In other words, an online international payment gateway this tool is needed for businesses that work at several locations worldwide or have an online presence in more than one country to accept card payments. Some of the most demanded characteristics of payment gateways for international transactions are the support for multiple currencies, compliance with the world’s acknowledged security standards and regulations, global and local payment methods, and a number of languages.
How does it work?
There are three basic things a business needs to work with card payments:
- Merchant account, a business bank account that a company gets to accept credit or debit card payments from customers.
- Payment processor, a solution that allows merchants to process transactions and helps them to support different payment options.
- Payment gateway, a software that businesses use to confirm customers’ payment details and authorise card payments.
These are a must for online card transactions processing. Today, many payment service providers offer all-in-one solutions, but still, there are many cases when businesses have to go for each point separately.
What features should international payment gateway support?
Choosing a payment partner and an international payment gateway provider is a vital decision for any business. The quality of a chosen online international payment gateway is likely to affect not only your conversion rates but also your reputation. For example, in case of technical glitches in the payment process, the customer will think it’s because of some problems on your side and may not want to come back to your website after such cases. So, here are five main factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway for international transactions.
A decent selection of payment methods
As a merchant that already provides services to multiple markets worldwide or is just planning the international expansion, you should understand that when customers reach checkout, they want to see the option they’re used to pay with. And if it’s not there, it may result in lost sales for you. That’s why your success largely depends on the availability of payment methods on your website that your international payment gateway provider should support.
Besides supporting the top global card brands, it’s worth considering popular mobile wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay, bank transfers, and maybe even crypto currency. For instance, Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin. But of course, the final list of options should be selected based on your target audience, markets and what your company does.
A gateway for international merchants should allow for working with different currencies. To make the shopping experience more smooth for customers, your website should also display prices in the currency of a customer. Some checkout solutions can automatically detect users’ location and adapt accordingly, while others allow choosing currency manually.
As we’ve already touched on the user experience topic, checkout is the most critical customer-facing element of the payment process that directly affects clients satisfaction and conversion rates.
Besides being secure and convenient, some of the market’s advanced checkout solutions support personalisation features, displaying payment methods the client is likely to use or used the last time on the top of the list, allowing to save payment details and pay instantly in one click.
The solution should also be integrated into your website correctly to avoid basic UX errors like shutting down due to misclick. UX writing matters, too - all the error messages should be clear enough so that a customer can fix the issue if it’s on their side.
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Same as with the currency, customers want to use their language when shopping. Rare merchants need to speak all languages of the world, but for globally present companies, it’s good to have local versions for the world’s most spoken languages.
Reliability, security and compliance
Another vital thing in terms of payments and gateways is security. The service provider has to be compliant with the industry’s renowned security standards, like PCI DSS, protect and securely store clients’ information per GDPR, have all the hardware and software needed for fraud prevention, tokenisation, encryption, masking, data protection, etc.
Moreover, there’s an important parameter to look at called provider’s health. Usually, reliable gateways have a status page, allowing customers to see if everything’s fine on the gateway’s side or if some issue occurred. Don’t trust 100% uptime claims without seeing a status page.
A weak point of international gateways & how to alleviate it
International payment gateways are primarily aimed at covering the basic needs of merchants with a global presence. Most commonly, providers offer essential services required to operate across various countries.
The downturn about them is that sometimes online international payment gateways lack localisation. For example, they may fail to provide support for crucial local payment methods of one of your key markets. It’s a pity if everything else about the particular gateway suits you.
In cases like that, the best solution is to work with multiple gateway providers. Let’s say an international gateway offering capabilities for operating across different regions and a few local ones, knowing specific markets well and fully covering the needs of customers in those markets.
Such an approach makes managing payment processes more cumbersome, as you’ll have to stay logged in all the dashboards and monitor transactions flow on each of them separately. Still, advanced technical platforms like Corefy tackle these issues easily, providing a single access point and a connectivity hub for all your payment and payouts, saving you time and nerves. It also allows optimising processing costs by using features like intelligent payment routing, softening the burden of gateways’ fees and charges for you. What’s more, having extensive industry expertise and understanding the market well, we act as your payment team, helping to choose optimal partners, the best providers and payment methods on your targeted geographies. Get in touch to learn about all the benefits working with us can bring you.
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