Advice on International Credit Card Processing

Merchant Warehouse |

December 7, 2010

When discussing international credit card processing, the term refers to the process of completing “multiple currency” credit card payment transactions. This process allows merchants to accept payment for their products and services in over 169 different currencies, as well as receive direct deposits for the sales that they make.

Businesses can use international credit card processing as a means to create expansion for their business or to facilitate payment in regions they are already selling in. They can also venture into a brand new sales region and thereby offer different payment arrangements for customers in certain regions of the world.

International Accounts

For years now, the credit card associations have worked with banks, government oversight agencies and other financial institutions to make the major cards truly “international.” The leading cards – MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, etc. – can be used in almost any country where credit transactions are accepted. International credit cards can help people acquire a selection of services such as flight reservations, car rentals and hotel bookings abroad.

Merchants accepting credit cards need to be aware of the requirements needed in order to complete the process. This involves having the authority to authorize credit card payments and withdraw or deposit funds, which first requires their acquisition of an international merchant account. The account is put in place as an agreement between a credit card processor and the merchant that establishes the rules for the acceptance for credit card purchases and the transfer of funds on an international basis, handling a variety of currency exchange rates. Perhaps a description of how this process functions would help in this explanation.

Picture this: A merchant wishes to make a sale to a customer in the European region. The merchant utilizes the credit card processing company to facilitate a transaction for the sale of photos. The products are sold to the buyer for Euros (which is European Community legal tender), and the actual payment is then made in U.S. dollars to the merchant. All conversions are made “on the fly,” in the same time frame as the approval and subsequent batch or individual processing.

Expertise is Key

Certain credit cards have blazed the trail in the international markets, and these are American Express, Diners Club and Carte Blanche. The latter two used to be known, as a matter of fact, as “T & E,” or travel and entertainment cards. International credit card processors and the services that they provide are essential for a merchant’s success in international retail or online business. Credit card processors can offer you one thing above all else that you will need in order to succeed in your venture, and that’s expertise. Unless you are experienced in international commerce, they have the knowledge that you don’t have in this instance.

It can get tricky at times to coordinate payments from other countries. Processors are experts in the field. They also have the ability to provide Internet merchant account advice and can help guide you through the process of online credit card acceptance of all manner and forms of payment cards. There are hundreds of companies that offer credit card processing services and they are in every nation on the globe. Use them to your advantage and get the advice and expertise that your business deserves.

International credit card processing is an important addition to an online business with products or services that have global appeal. Do not assume that every account provider has equal experience in the matter, either. If you are shopping around for a merchant account that will help you with your international business, make sure to ask the right questions before making your decision.