Most US companies offer credit card payment options online because they offer the capability to conduct business throughout the world. Among the credit cards accepted are American Express, VISA, Mastercard, and Discover. All of these work for online transactions, provided the banking system within the country accepts them and they are secure. Many credit card companies charge anywhere from a 1.95 to 3.5 percent service fee on the total transaction price. If a country does not accept a particular credit card, find a comparable service used by the country to fill in the gaps. The greater the global reach for a card, the easier it will be on you for collecting payments.
In addition, several credit card companies now offer country-specific credit cards and other payment services, made possible by special payment features that collect “regional” global payments. These include Maestro offered by Mastercard for use in multiple countries; Dankort offered by Visa in Denmark; Visa’s Carte Bleue used in France; Skrill, which facilitates global e-commerce; and debit cards for use in China, to name just a few.
Here is a list of the more popular and commonly used mobile payment methods used in this country:
- Mastercard PayPass: (https://www.paypass.com/). PayPass lets you accept everyday purchases quickly and safely through a MasterCard or Maestro-enabled card or device. Buyers can search worldwide for merchants—like you—who accept MasterCard PayPass. Note: Before implementing PayPass, check first with the card’s bank to see which countries accept its payment method.
- Visa payWave for Mobile: (https://developer.visa.com/paywavemobile). This is a mobile payment system available for Visa issuers, mobile network operators, mobile device manufacturers, and third-party wallet providers looking to develop proprietary applications. According to Visa De, PayWave “enables Visa cardholders to simply wave their card or mobile device in front of a contactless payment terminal to make a payment.” Buyers can make payments, including credit, debit, and prepaid products for both online and offline contactless transactions.
- Square: (https://squareup.com). This online service allows you to start accepting credit cards in a heartbeat at 2.75 percent per swipe. Small businesses can opt to set up a monthly plan for $275 a month (as of this writing). Once you sign up, Square mails you a free Square card reader.
- Clinkle: (http://www.clinkle.com). This new mobile payment start-up has developed a practical way to replace credit cards with smart phones. The founders have been hush-hush about what their start-up even does. Word on the street is that Clinkle lets you do phone-to-phone payments via ultrasound exchanged on the phone. This is branded as “Aerolink.” It’s a work in progress and should be ready by the time you read this.
- PayAnywhere: (http://www.payanywhere.com). This credit card reader and free app lets people pay anywhere using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and debit cards. You can download it at the App Store, Google Play, and Blackberry App World. PayAnywhere was created by the multibillion-dollar credit-card-processing company North American Bancard, which has more than two decades of merchant-payment-processing experience. The processing fees are competitive: 2.69 percent per swiped transaction; however, for a keyed-in transaction where you type the credit card number, the rate shifts to 3.49 percent plus a $0.19 transaction fee. There is no monthly fee, minimum required, or cancellation fee. PayAnywhere is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, most Android phones or tablets, and Blackberry smart phones, and the company offers 24/7 live customer support through a toll-free number.
- China UnionPay: (http://en.unionpay.com/). The leading banking-card association in the world, with more than 3.2 billion issued cards, the company now gives Chinese shoppers with UnionPay cards the option to make online purchases at the Web sites of participating Discover Merchants. What that means is that UnionPay cardholders will have a safe and secure way to make purchases online around the world. In addition, China UnionPay provides access to Discover’s services at all ATMs and electronic-payment merchants in Mainland China.
And there’s more. UnionPay recently partnered with PayPay to allow card members in China to use PayPal to shop online. That represents a phenomenal new opportunity for international retailers to sell to a large base of Chinese customers who, combined, hold 2.1 billion cards, according to a PayPal press release regarding the partnership.
This article is adapted from Laurel’s book, “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably” published by Apress. For a more extensive look at global mobile payments, read Chapter 20, “Getting Paid.”
Photo courtesy: ©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved.