For businesses, the Internet serves as the gateway to reaching new markets. You have access to localization services, geo-targeted advertising, worldwide shipping, and all the other services that make international marketing possible. There are also online tools and resources you can use to study foreign markets before you dive in.
However, the availability of these services does not make running an international business any simpler. Cross-border payments, for example, present several challenges that business owners must face such as the added cost of international transfers, the complexity of managing several foreign accounts at once, and the security risks involved with holding money internationally as opposed to maintaining a single domestic account.
As a startup or entrepreneur, you want to ensure that receiving money from clients and customers is as seamless and secure as possible to ensure that you can get your hands on their payment without any troubles.
To help you choose the best cross-border payment service for your business, here are some of the critical factors you should consider:
Here’s the deal – cross-border payments can be expensive. Payment service providers can be manageable and somewhat sustainable, but they may result in substantial losses in the long-term.
As a business, you should always prioritize cost-effectiveness when considering services you would like to avail. Aside from the cost of setting up, also look at other charges such as transaction fees, conversion fees, withdrawal fees, and so on. Keep in mind that these charges vary greatly depending on the company you choose.
When it comes to cost, one of the most economical options would be Payoneer – a cross-border payments solution which offers global receiving accounts, and allows you to get paid from online marketplaces and direct clients with their billing service solution. Payoneer is much more affordable than the more well-known PayPal option. That said, it is a good idea to check out capabilities of Payoneer to see if it is a good fit for your business.
2. Time to Receive
Reliability is critical when it comes to payment systems. After all, you are putting your company’s finances in the hands of another company. Even the slightest delays may cause administrative problems in your business or tarnish your brand’s reputation if a customer waits too long for a transaction.
That is why it is important to check for any policies that involve holding periods and other expected delays with fund transfers. For example, PayPal has a policy of holding the funds of new accounts for 60 days while further withdrawals take 3-5 business days. You may instantly transfer the money to your bank account, but you will incur additional charges in doing so.
Aside from existing policies, also check if a service is prone to crashing and unexpected delays. These are far worse since they could come at the most inconvenient times. Moreover, for this, your best bet is to check around for customer feedback and reviews. As a rule of thumb, don’t trust too much on new companies with little to no feedback, reviews, and testimonials.
Of course, safety is a big issue when it comes to online payments. Make sure the payment service provider of your choice complies with the PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which ensures security for credit card transactions. There are also payment companies that offer additional protection against fraud for both sellers and buyers.
Bear in mind that it is entirely possible to encounter dubious claims and chargebacks from shady customers that aim to scam businesses. Although there are refund policies that help protect the buyer, it should not be such a fast and easy process that the business cannot react to counter fraudulent claims.
Additionally, the payment service provider should commit to investigating each claim and allow the seller to offer evidence of a completed transaction. This includes proof of shipment or proof of delivery. To acquire these documents, make sure you use a shipping service that offers online delivery tracking. Once you have proof, there should be an extremely low chance for the fraudulent claim to pull through.
4. Ways to Access the Funds
When choosing a payment platform, make sure it is easy for you to access your funds through the payment company’s site. Consider checking a site’s interface first in reviews or with a free account to see if the interface suits your preferences. Also, check how online transfers work and see if they support wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, checks, or any other payout solution you might use.
Some payment service providers also include additional accessibility features such as multilingual support, third-party app integration, and simplified currency conversions. Also, check if a company has a mobile app so you can manage your funds from anywhere.
5. Platform Compatibility
Last but not least, you should ensure the payment service provider is completely compatible with any external software, platform, or service you are using.
For example, Shopify as your e-commerce platform support multiple international payment gateways, allowing your customers to complete transactions with just a few clicks of a button. For online shops that are run using a different platform, you need to make sure that you choose a payment gateway that it supports to avoid getting problems with receiving payments from customers. Worst case scenario is that your platform does not support your chosen payment gateway. If this occurs, you may have to choose a different payment gateway because transitioning from an e-commerce platform to another is much more inconvenient.
To check the compatibility of payment services with a given platform, only test the platform’s main website or contact their customer support. Take note that this is also an opportunity for you to test the dependability of their customer service, which is crucial if you need help managing your money on the internet.
Conclusion (and what you need to do)
In the age of globalization, it is important for businesses to establish a reliable system for making cross-border payments. This is a component of providing a seamless experience for you and your clients. Lastly, remember that it is a critical business decision that can affect how you run your company from this point moving forward.
To make it much easier for your end, search for comparison charts like this one from FormStack that pit different payment gateways to the test. The payment gateways are tested by referring to the criteria mentioned above and more to provide you a glimpse of how they work. Determining the factors from the chart that you prioritize the most as a business owner will help you find the best payment gateway for you. Also, it helps that you test out the service provider first to see if it does live up to its reputation as explained in the comparison chart.
If you feel comparison charts are not as comprehensive, then in-depth reviews of the payment gateway ought to do the trick. Once you have found a payment gateway to your liking, you can search for full-blown reviews of its services to help you further weigh if it is worth your time to use it. Aggregate review sites like TrustPilot and G2 Crowd are great places to start because they collect objective and unbiased reviews from different users to supply you with all the information you need to make your decision.
Ultimately, you will have to get your hands on your payment gateway of choice to truly see if it does the things as advertised for your business. Most of the time, assuming that you have done your research, you will be able to use your chosen payment gateway without problems. If you were not able to research hard enough for your chosen service provider, then expect problems to pop up while using it.
Choosing your payment gateway is serious business, especially if you are truly serious about yours. By following the guidelines and tips mentioned in this post, you should be able to run your business with a secure and convenience payment gateway for you and your clients.