Businesses today have the choice of many good online merchant accounts, but not all are suitable for international commerce. A true international merchant account will offer features that go above and beyond those of a general payment processing platform. Here’s what to look for.
The first thing you should look for in any international merchant account is that they have a platform that specifically serves the region you wish to operate in. It doesn’t matter what features they have if they are not optimized for doing business in your customers’ area. Some of the most in-demand regions are:
- Europe. The pan-Europe area is one of the most robust and modern economic regions in the world. Any platform that offers service here should focus on transacting and settling in all the major world currencies including Euros and US Dollars, as well as any other European currencies.
- Mauritius. Mauritius is consistently rated as one of the easiest places to do business in Africa, and as such has become a sort of “gateway to Asia” as well. Platforms serving Mauritius-based businesses should be able to service virtually any world currency as well as Mauritius rupees.
- Latin America. One of the largest growth areas for e-commerce, Latin American platforms should serve all local currencies in addition to major European currencies, and have ample security to build trust with local customers.
- The Caribbean. Many online merchant accounts that claim to serve all of the Latin American Caribbean Region (LACR) do not, in fact, have a strong platform for Caribbean nations and cannot process in the local Caribbean currencies. Make sure your payment gateway has connections to banks across the Caribbean region to set up merchant accounts and support all local Caribbean currencies.
If the merchant account services your area, there are four specific features to look for:
- Real-time processing in multiple currencies. Customers should be able to pay in their local currency instantly, with prices in that currency and no “conversion” as part of the buying process. Your account should be able to take payments in multiple currencies according to your business needs.
- Settle in the currency you prefer. Money should be payable to you in the currency of your preference regardless of what currency it was paid in. For example, you should be able to find a merchant account that allow you to price in up to 145 world currencies with settlement to US dollars or up to 150 currencies with settlement in Euros.
- Low rates. Rates should be based on the volume of transactions and the amounts being transacted.