The Smart Way to Handle International Transactions

Add Your Comments

Ecommerce sales topped $1 trillion in 2012 according to global estimates by eMarketer. If you are not selling globally, you are (or should be) thinking about it. If you are selling globally, then you are most likely familiar with the issues associated with international transactions. The good news is there is a tremendously impactful solution you can immediately implement.

Take, for example, a provider of hosting services. They employ search engine marketing tactics, dive into search engine optimization, promote their business actively on social media and even invest in reputation management. In a nutshell, they cover all their bases: it pays off. Pretty soon, would-be customers come along in search of the perfect hosting solution. They stumble upon this optimized site. The customers all speak English but are in very different geographical locations; Rajesh is in India, Hendrik in Sweden and Maia in Israel.

All three navigate the site and find the exact products and services they require. Each one takes a quick peek at the posted customer reviews and are quite satisfied with what they read. Finding themselves ready to commit, they each click over to the “Plans and Pricing” tab and select the same service that should cost them each $19.99 USD. This amount is, however, displayed to them as follows:

·         Rajesh sees $19.99 USD as “Approximately‚ 1239.18 INR” (Indian Rupees)

·         Hendrik sees $19.99 USD as “Approximately kr 130.24 SEK” (Swedish Krona)

·         Maia sees $19.99 USD as “approximately ‚ 70.19 NIS” (New Israeli Shekel)

Confusion ensues and a few alarms sound off:  What are “approximate” prices? Is this a foreign company? What’s happening with the currency conversion? What if I have a billing issue?  What if they go out of business? The list of questions is endless and quite understandably, these would-be customers hesitate. They start thinking about all the things that could potentially go wrong and begin to talk themselves out of purchasing from this particular site.

The truth is, even if a merchant still manages to close a sale despite showing “approximate prices” the story rarely ends there. The reason the word “approximately” is used is because this “presented” amount might actually change once the foreign exchanges settle for the night. If the customers in the example above had proceeded with their purchases, this is what their credit card statements might reflect:

·         Rajesh 1347 INR Instead of the Presented 1239.18

·         Hendrik Kr 131.50 Krona Instead of the Presented 130.24

·         Maia 81.25 NIS Instead of the Presented 70.19

When this happens, what follows is never good for any business. Negative reviews, numerous customer support calls, and even worse, chargebacks.

So what can you do to mitigate this particular problem?  It’s quite simple actually: present in local currencies.

Progressive international payment processors allow you to present prices to your customers in a variety of different currencies. When you present directly in the customer’s currency, it eliminates the confusion created by approximate prices and increases buyer confidence. This in turn leads to significantly higher conversions and a great increase in sales volume. More importantly, when your customers receive their statements and the amounts match what they expect, it mitigates the risk of a chargeback, which could negatively impact your merchant account.

Ask your processor about multi-currency processing and allow your customers to shop with confidence, increase the likelihood of return customers, cut down on support employee time and costs and reduces the risk of chargebacks.

About the Author

judeJude Augusta, Esq/MBA is the AVP for Global Acquiring for Hosting & Internet Services at Pivotal Payments.  Jude has been in the hosting and domain registration community for the past decade, bringing industry-peer solutions including ecommerce, cloud infrastructures, and supporting services. He is now helping clients implement a global commerce strategy while increasing revenue streams with the GlobalOne platform. Find out more at

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)