International Payment Services: What Should Online Merchants be Seeking?By R.O.B On March 13, 2010 Under Running Online Business
When it comes to choosing the best international payment services, many novice online merchants simply choose the one that seems to be the most popular. Finding the service that can best serve your business needs will take far more of an effort than just randomly selecting one. Here are the things you should be looking for in international payment services:
Cost – For many online merchants, cost is the most significant determining factor in choosing payment services. Make sure you factor in both start-up fees and recurring service charges when determining the overall cost of a particular solution.
History – Solutions that have been around for years are not likely to go out of business overnight. A lengthy track record is indicative of stable solutions, first-rate customer service, and satisfied customers around the world.
Risk-Free Trial Period – The most reputable and well-established international payment services typically offer some type of risk-free trial period or version of their product that allows prospective customers to “test drive” their services before actually signing into a contract.
Reporting – Any service provider you consider should offer comprehensive, real-time reporting options that help you analyze and keep track of customer data.
Multi-Currency Support – A must for merchants selling a myriad of foreign countries, opt for a service that offers multi-currency support and allows you to accept the local currencies of every country you currently sell to. Another option is to offer a currency converter right on your site (such as a drop down menu) that allows customers to select their appropriate currency and make a payment.
Speed of Transaction Processing – The quicker that payments can be processed, the better off you’ll be. Customers start to get anxious when payments take longer than a minute to process so make sure you evaluate a provider’s processing speed.
Merchant Accounts – Some international payment services require merchant accounts while others do not. A few benefits of having a merchant account is that the cost per transaction is usually lower and the actual name of your company will appear on customers’ credit card statements.
Recurring Billing – If you are offering subscription-based products or services, look for a provider that offers a recurring billing feature, which allows you to setup automatic billing of customers.
Payment Methods – Last but certainly not least, one of the most important features of international payment services is the variety of payment methods they offer. While credit cards may be the preferred method of payment in the United States, that may not necessarily be the case in other countries you are selling. From e-checks to direct debit payments, there are a myriad of other payment methods international online merchants may want to consider offering to customers.