Keeping International Online Transactions Safe: What You Need to Know


moneyAs more and more businesses seek out international online payment solutions to help reach customers across the globe, many business owners are unsure about how to keep these transactions secure and free of fraud.

Here are some of the most important things you should keep in mind when assessing if an international online payment is secure:

International transaction fees are common

As MoneySENSE, a national financial education program in Singapore, explains: “As your purchases make their way around the world to your doorstep, your payment also travels around the world to reach your merchant.”

This means some card issuers may charge international transaction fees when payment transactions are sent overseas for processing. Using an example international transaction fee of 0.8%, a $1,000 purchase would appear as $1,008 on a final statement. This means if you see your purchase is slightly higher than expected, this could be the explanation.

There are telltale ways to check if a website is secure

If you’re doing business with an international retailer, there are a number of ways to check that the retailer’s website is secure. Norton’s Mary O. Foley described a list of telltale signs that a website is legitimate. These include:

  • A physical address or phone number accompanying the website
  • A return policy
  • Believable prices (In this case, keep in mind the old adage: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”)
  • Encryption icons like padlocks or keys at the top or bottom of your browser
  • A privacy statement

Similarly, here are some red flags that you should avoid:

  • Pop-up ads – most reputable retailers don’t allow them.
  • A website that sends you emails you didn’t sign up for
  • A debit card-only policy (Credit cards provide you with an extra layer of protection, so look for a site which accepts a variety of credit cards.)

Understanding local laws, duties and taxes is beneficial

Experts on international sales suggest international sellers of any kind should have a basic understanding of local laws, duties, taxes, customs and free trade agreements in the countries where they do business.



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