Thinking of taking your business global? Read this first

In today’s digital world, the push for companies to begin offering their products and services to international markets has never been stronger. There’s plenty of exciting reasons to do so, not least of which is the tremendous potential for growth, given that the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that more than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside American borders. Other compelling advantages include creating economies of scale, offsetting sales during your slow season and expanding your customer base.

Nowadays, moving from local to global isn’t just for large-scale businesses anymore, either. Thanks to the internet, hopping on board the global bandwagon is easier and more inexpensive than ever before for small and medium businesses. Technology and apps like social media and web development platforms make it cost-effective and simple to have a web presence that reaches potential customers all around the world. The power of virtual sharing and social amplification ensures your marketing efforts target the right eyeballs.

One area that can seem daunting for companies looking to expand internationally is accepting payments. How will you handle foreign currency? How are you going to determine the appropriate exchange rates? Will you need to set up bank accounts in the countries you’re hoping to do business in? Will you be able to accept various international credit cards? How can you keep all this confidential information safe? What about keeping up with emerging payment types, like Apple Pay?

In the world of ecommerce, making sure the currency used by the customer is seen at checkout is essential. Not many of us can quickly convert a Franc to a US dollar, nor do customers want that experience. Fortunately, just like technology represents the opportunity for going global, it also brings the practical solutions you need to make it happen. A payment processor that offers Multi Currency Conversion (MCC) is essential, as it gives you the ability to decide which countries you want to sell to, select the relevant currencies from over 100 options and add them to your website. Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is also a great option to have, as it allows customers to see the amount their card will be charged expressed in their home currency.

By offering foreign consumers the ability to pay in their home currency, your business can reduce abandoned shopping carts, increase conversions and drive revenue. And since Elavon has secure eCommerce and card present capability for North America and the European Union, we are one of the only payment processors that can accept in multi-currency while allowing you to receive all settlements in your currency of choice.

While many payment processing companies give you the ability to accept multiple currencies, if you’re looking for a truly integrated option that makes things simple for your customers and your business, you need end-to-end global connectivity.

On the front end, this means international customers see their local currency when making purchases. On the back end, global connectivity means having the tools and data to track and handle the complete transaction, not just the payment part. This is something that Elavon is unique in offering — a single system that can handle payments, refunds, chargebacks and the shipping paper trail. You can choose to integrate this information within your ecommerce management platform, or simply view it through Elavon’s website.

As a business owner or manager, this allows you to follow the life cycle of the transaction and reconcile your records. You’ll know not only when a payment was processed, but when the money was deposited in your bank account. You also won’t need to wait around to have access to the funds coming in from your growing international sales — Elavon offers next day deposits.

Simplicity can help drive security and ease of implementation.  Elavon can be both the gateway and the acquirer, as we manage and are responsible for the web interfaces, security of cards on file and deposits to your bank. This helps your business meet PCI standards, which is required of all organizations that accept or process payment cards. With privacy and security becoming a top priority for online shoppers around the world, your customers can rest easy knowing their personal information is held securely by Elavon, which is backed by its parent, U.S. Bank.

While navigating the ins and outs of going global with your business can be complicated, accepting payments doesn’t have to be. Choose end-to-end global connectivity for a solution that handles the details, so you can focus on your business and your customers.

By Ian Drysdale

Editor
ATLANTA TREND™

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