How many foreign languages do you know? Is it easy for you to learn a new language? Do you like to travel to new countries and geographies? Do you feel at home living among people from other cultures? Are you able to quickly adapt to new places and surroundings? Is it easy for you to build rapport with a foreign person?
With the advance of globalization, these questions become more relevant. Globalization is taking its toll on the payment services market as well. Many companies currently want to expand their operations to new geographies. As a result, they have to answer similar questions.
People study foreign languages and cultures for different reasons. Some just want to be able to buy groceries when abroad. Others want to read foreign books or sing foreign songs. And someone might identify himself with a foreign culture and try to embrace it in its entirety.
Similarly, every company that expands internationally has its reasons for doing so. And it should also have a clear vision of how payment processing should be organized.
Types of companies that need international presence of some kind include but are not limited to the following 3 categories.
- Product and service vendors that want to process transactions in different countries.
- Franchisors that have franchisees in different countries. This option, usually, involves unified processing solutions for all franchisees.
- Software vendors that want to support several processing solutions in each target country.
Is your company planning to expand internationally in one way or another? Depending on your ambitions (i.e. on how “multicultural” you want to get), your options may vary.
Here are 4 common questions you should answer in order to define the optimal processing arrangement.
- Do you need only to authorize transactions in foreign currencies? Or do you need to perform both authorization and settlement of transactions in foreign currencies? Do you need to perform transaction settlement in local currency of your target country? If yes, then you need to have a local bank relationship. If you only need to authorize transactions in the local currency, then it is sufficient to have a relationship with an acquiring bank that supports respective currency conversion.
- Do you need one processing/acquiring partner at most in each country? Or do you need to support several processing solutions for each of your target geographies? Just like we said above, the first option is more common for franchisors, while the second one is typical for international software vendors.
- How many phases does payment processing cycle have in your target geographies? One or two? In some countries, such as USA and Canada, bank transfers are performed in one phase, through nation-wide clearing houses. In other countries (EU, UK, Australia), in addition to that, all bank accounts should be registered by the clearing house before they can get funded. Keep that in mind.
- Do you need to support only card-not-present foreign-currency transactions or card-present transactions as well? In either case, you will need to have a bank account in the local currency of your target country. Moreover, if you need to handle card-present transactions in a foreign country, you will need to implement some EMV terminal solution. This will require additional efforts from you.
Your choice of international payment processing solutions will depend on your answers to these and some other questions. Going global in terms of payment services is a tricky process. Some solutions will require you to have a tax ID in your target country. Others will not. Plus, additional cross-border transaction processing fees might be involved.
If you are seriously considering the prospect of accepting payments internationally, feel free to consult our specialists at unipaygateway.com. We have already helped many businesses, similar to yours, to start operating in new geographies smoothly and seamlessly.