Owning an e-commerce website allows us to market to a global audience. This also means shipping and accepting payments from all over the world, including payments in different currencies. It’s important to find a payment provider that can accept payments in a variety of currencies, including American, Canadian dollars, and Euro.
Make sure this feature is offered when choosing a payment provider.
Visa and MasterCard allow customers from around the globe to make payments online.
Accepting Multiple Currencies
Several payment providers offer multiple currency payment processing. Using this type of service lets business owners sell products and services to a global market.
Providers like WorldPay allow websites to accept payments in over 120 different currencies. Any money received is paid directly to the owner’s bank account in the currency of their choosing. All conversion is done behind the scenes before the business receives the money from the payment processor.
Foreign Currency Fees
Fees for payments processed in a foreign currency or from a foreign bank may result in additional fees for both the business and the consumer. Check with the payment provider before accepting payments from outside the United States. Consumers may also face foreign transaction fees imposed by their banks when they purchase products or services outside of their local currency.
The payment processor is not responsible for these fees, and consumers should check with their bank for a comprehensive list of fees associated with these types of transactions.
Major Credit Cards
Processing credit cards, even foreign ones, is completed is the same basic manner. Most online payment providers offer processing of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, among others.
Intuit, an online payment provider, can process payments for consumers with these types of accounts, whether domestic or foreign. Intuit offers 128-bit SSL encryption, simple setup, and security fraud protection. The consumer’s bank my also offer additional levels of security like requiring additional verification before allowing a transaction to go through.
Banks may charge additional foreign transaction fees when products are bought outside the customer’s local currency.
Choosing a Provider
Some U.S.-based payment processors may not accept international payments or currencies since the fees associated with these transactions tend to be higher. If the business’s current payment processor will only accept domestic payments, it may be possible to open an international merchant account through a different provider. Shop around to find the best rate before making a choice.
For those who don’t feel like opening a separate international merchant account, PayPal accepts foreign transactions in 24 different currencies. The exchange rate does vary on a daily basis, so transactions for the same product or service my change from day to day. PayPal also charges a 2.5% foreign exchange rate when moving money to a U.S. bank account.
Other Ways to Accept International Payment
In addition to accepting credit and debit cards, businesses may choose to accept international money orders, wire transfers, telegraphic transfers, and personal checks. Accepting these types of payments may not offer the same level of security found when processing a Visa or MasterCard transaction for both the business and the consumer. Be careful accepting international money orders. It’s not unusual for an international money order to bounce once a product has been shipped, a scam seen frequently online.
Accepting international payment and currencies starts with the payment processor the business uses. If they offer international services or a merchant account, check the fees before beginning to process foreign transactions. It’s also a good idea to inform customers that they may see additional transaction fees from their bank.
Brian Flax is a freelance writer based out of the Washington, D.C. area. He is experienced in a variety of topics including technology, Internet applications, and search engine optimization.