5 Reasons Cross-Border Payments Fail (& The Solutions)

Are you operating a company that depends on cross-border financial transactions? Whether you are primarily a business-to-business or business-to-customer entity, the integrity and efficacy of systems you use to transmit funds from one nation to another are essential for your survival. If your company is like other successful ones that depend on free flow of capital, then even one or two small glitches in your payment templates can lead to chaos in terms of lost customers, angry vendors, unpaid bills, overdrawn bank accounts, and tax problems.

Note that international commerce only pertains to retail transactions between companies and customers, or companies and other companies. There are no government entities directly involved. It’s an important distinction to keep in mind when you sell to a national government, in which case you’ll possibly be operating in the realm of “international trade,” which has its own set of rules, payment systems, and protocols.

Make Time To Resolve Problems

No one, not even customers and other non-business owners, wants to live in a world where money can’t flow easily from place to place. These global financial pipelines are the life blood of any thriving economy. So if you want your eCommerce efforts and international marketing campaigns to bear fruit, double-check your cross-border payment system’s components. If anything doesn’t look right, make the time to fix it asap. Your short-term and long-term success as a profit-making entity depends on it.

How Do You Know Something is Not Right?

What’s the first step? Diagnose your funding flow-charts and see if any of the following problems are apparent. If one of them rears its head, consider one of the solutions listed under the “Realistic Solutions” section.

  • Payment success with international clients is paltry compared to domestic buyers
  • When you calculate ROI for cross-border customers or specific nations, it’s obvious that something is amiss
  • Your international prospective customers tend to abandon the payment process in mid-transaction more often than not
  • Cross-border clients are repeatedly the source of refund requests, charge-backs, and payment disputes
  • Your customer service department routinely receives angry emails from international customers

Potential Problems and Solutions for Cross-Border (CB) Payment Issues

With any international funding arrangement, multiple things can go wrong. There are potentially hundreds of reasons your company’s CB flow of payments has run into trouble. But in the real world, most of the issues with CB payments tend to fall into five distinct areas. They include:

  • One: Credit Card Processing It’s important to make sure that when you allow credit card payments, each nation in which you sell has a local processor for each particular card. This problem crops up for sellers whose gateways only utilize one acquiring bank for each card. In some cases, international buyers will have their accounts blocked for potential fraud because the transaction appears to their local regulators as “international,” which is a red flag in many nations.
  • Two: Payment Methods Consider the fact that there are dozens of different international payment methods, including local bank-issued credit/payment cards, debit cards, cryptocurrency and more. If your company’s pay portals only offer one or two ways to pay, you’ll lose business from potential international customers who are possibly tied, by their local laws or customs, to specific payment methods that you don’t offer.
  • Three: Language Anyone who has ever ventured onto a non-domestic corporation’s website only to find that there was no translation function available knows how frustrating the situation can be. It’s highly likely that if you sales pages only display product/service information in a single language, you’re poised to lose business that’s trying to find you.
  • Four: Currency The vast majority of retail buyers, and a good number of corporations, prefer to pay for goods and services with their local currency. If your company does not offer that feature on the payment page, expect to lose potential sales.
  • Five: Tax and Shipping Information is Vague When prospective customers don’t know how much it’s going to cost to ship an item, or how much tax they’ll need to pay, they often say “Goodbye,” and dump the transaction, even if they’re nearly done with the entire process. International buyers are particularly careful with these two surcharges because they can add up to a significant part of the total cost of an item.

Realistic Solutions

It’s not enough to discover that something has gone wrong with your customer payment situation. Effective managers and owners want commonsense solutions that can make a difference. Here are some of the ways today’s payment professionals resolve the challenges listed above. Note that each particular solution corresponds to the numbered problem in the previous section:

  • One: CC Processing Be sure that your payment system uses multiple acquiring banks and financial institutions. That way, prospective buyers won’t have their accounts flagged as potentially fraudulent due to a “foreign” financing source.
  • Two: Payment Methods Check with your cross-border payment system provider to make certain that when buyer’s bring up your site, they see localized language, currency, and payment methods. In some nations, for example, there are only one or two payment methods allowed, and both are based on local bank debit cards. An agile system can make your website appear as it needs to appear so that anyone, anywhere, will feel like they are making a local transaction.
  • Three: Language Versatile payment systems can easily put all your website information and content into whatever the buyer’s local language is. Many programs support up to 100 different languages and dialects, so make sure to use a system with this capability.
  • Four: Currency This is a simple fix because all you need to do is use a cross-border payment gateway that displays all prices in the local currency after detecting the buyer’s URL and identifying the locality.
  • Five: Tax and Shipping Use systems that can automatically calculate local taxation rates and shipping charges so customers know exactly how much each item will cost, in total, before they check out.

Getting the Help Your Company Needs

Nobody’s perfect. That’s why just about every entrepreneur who does business internationally will face a dilemma with cross-border payment systems at one time or another. At Metro Payment Technologies we have the tools that can get your international payment programs up and running, and the solutions that can keep them that way. It’s a critical need for any organization that sells goods or services. Consider the fact that the B2B cross-border economy is currently around $218 trillion strong and growing. The B2C segment isn’t far behind in volume or speed of expansion.

Whether you need payment terminals, gateways, virtual terminals, complete eCommerce solutions, POS systems, wireless terminals, e-check processing, or any other type of payment technology to get your business back on track, we can help. Feel free to explore our website for more information, call us at our toll-free number, 1-800-771-3719, or simply send along an email whenever you have a question. We look forward to helping you straighten out your cross-border payment scenario or any other payment-related issue that is vexing your company. Our direct email address is service@metropaytech.com