2.4 eCommerce Payment OptionseCommerce Payment Options
*Payment Options for Your International CustomersNow that you have the customer’s order details and delivery information, it is time to collect payment.
U.S. firms that sell online most likely accept payment by credit cards that have been issued by banks in other countries. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are the most frequently used payment systems worldwide, both in brick-and-mortar and online stores. In some countries, though, other payment methods are just as popular, if not more so. In many European countries, for example, people buying online often pay by wire transfer or with country-specific credit cards (e.g., Carte Bleue in France). If you have determined that there is a large market for your products in a particular country, you may want to research that country’s favored payment methods to determine if accepting them would increase sales.
Western Union has a payment-by-wire app that can be added to your website. Another payment option is PayPal, a third-party service that processes payments from customers’ credit cards and bank accounts and then forwards you the money in the manner you choose. PayPal has become increasingly popular among U.S. firms selling online to foreign buyers. Sellers like it because they don’t assume the risk of collecting the buyer’s payment information, and because PayPal, which collects from the buyer’s bank account or credit card, essentially guarantees payment to the seller. PayPal is most popular in North America and Latin America, and it is gaining popularity worldwide. It doesn’t operate in all countries, but you can find comparable services to fill in the gaps.
Before you enter into an agreement with any of these payment processors, find out how each company resolves payment disputes and take that into account when making your decision. In certain instances, a credit card holder can dispute a charge weeks (or even months) after the seller has received payment. It’s also important to know who takes the hit in the event of a fraudulent transaction. If it’s you, keep shopping around.
You’ll also want to consider the costs associated with every payment option. Each has a unique cost structure that will be listed in written agreements. If you are already selling online, discuss with your current bank and payment processor the fees associated with international payments. Many companies specialize in processing payments from international customers; to learn more about them, type “international online payment” into an Internet search engine.
eCommerce Industry eCommerce