E-commerce is still making it too hard for consumers to pay
It’s easy to see why merchants of all sizes are eager to find a way over through or around the e-commerce payment obstacles that are complicating global expansion.
You can’t open new markets and delight new customers if they don’t have a way to transact with you. Staring at a checkout page that doesn’t list any of your preferred payment types is a deal breaker, no matter how much you want that coveted item in your cart.
Modern, global merchants need comprehensive, integrated frameworks that reduce costs, manage risk and exposure, provide direct connectivity and redundancy to optimize reliability and keep control over the customer experience closer to the merchant.
These frameworks, and the technology platforms that enable them, need to address legacy technology and operations: cumbersome cost models; multiple user experiences; local entities or representatives; and currency exchange capabilities.
The platforms and processes also have to scale in every direction — some marketplaces and brands are seeking to support more than 100 countries with the same framework and cost structure.
When assessing frameworks and solutions, merchants (and the marketplaces that support them) should consider the competitive and strategic benefits of these primary capabilities:
Funds-in networks, which collect money per customer/country preferences (via cash, bank transfer, debit, etc., and funds-out networks, which disburse money to employees and contractors or for refunds and loans.
Also vital are consistent digital delivery and experience, or global API(s), pre-built payment flows, and developer-ready web services; and data security and risk management to protect PII and guard against fraud.
Additionally, FX-as-a-service provides foreign currency exchange with hedging capabilities. E-wallets are a key tool of commerce in many regions, doing far more than storing funds. And compliance-as-a-service provides in-country oversight, real-time identity verification and oversight, risk-based models for policies and
Along with a carefully thought out framework supporting your global expansion, you’ll need to make sure you’ve plotted a course that lines up with your product road map and your ability to get marketing, logistics, inventory and NPI in place.
Empower customers to pay the way they want, and then leverage those capabilities to drive deeper customer engagement (e.g., expand e-wallet services to bill pay and mobile services like buying airtime), which in turn drives greater financial returns.
Your competitors based in the international markets you’re targeting have the benefit of nuanced local know-how. Large multinational competitors are leveraging powerful technology platforms to settle locally and rapidly gain proficiency in cultural and systemic payment preferences and regulations.
Relegating your cross-border payment strategy to a third-party processor keeps you out of the driver's seat in delivering business in new markets. Having expedient and sustainable access opens the potential of new markets but requires having the right mix of technology services and partners to expand globally and innovate locally.