5 tips for navigating the international waters of online payments

Guest blog from Allison Freedenfeld, of Payoneer – her colleague Aaron Rossi is a speaker at our upcoming eCommerce MasterPlan Virtual Summit 

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The Internet has created an environment in which professionals in various countries often work together with the same familiarity and ease as domestic colleagues in a single office building.  International payments; however, represent the most significant obstacle to hiring overseas professionals.

From exchange rates to preferred payment methods, companies that understand the ins and outs of making foreign payments stand to reap the most rewards in the modern marketplace.  So, what can your business do to better navigate and understand the online payments world?  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Understand Currency Conversions

Currency exchange rates represent the value of one country’s money in terms of another’s. The value of different currencies is affected by the strength of the country’s economy as measured by various factors, including inflation, confidence in the government and interest rates.

When you make a payment in a foreign market, the cash transaction converts from your domestic currency to that of the payee. Currency fluctuations occur on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis; therefore using a reliable, global payment platform (like Payoneer) ensures not only competitive conversion rates, but offers localized solutions for receiving/ withdrawing payment.

2. Think Country-Specific

Credit card payments are the preferred payment channel in the United States and Japan, according to Entrepreneur. Credit card sales are also becoming increasingly popular in Europe, but many customers still prefer real-time banking options through which they’re redirected to their online bank accounts to submit payment. Internet bank payments are the preferred choice in India, but prepaid cards and cash payments are also widely used.

Understanding how people in various countries prefer to receive money helps you cater your payment systems to meet their needs.

3. Value Speed and Accuracy

Regardless of where they are in the world, your payees want to receive payments as quickly as possible. While bank account transfers (also called wire transfers) might seem like a convenient option, Financial Web reports that international transfers could take as many as 15 days to complete, and the receiver is often slapped with some hefty fees.

If you are a freelancer working with various sub-contractors or an affiliate marketer working in partnership with other affiliates, or an e-tailer looking to pay other vendors, Payoneer allows you to easily make a payment to other Payoneer userswith the click of a button.

4. Consolidate Your Payment Services

Juggling numerous payment services can leach valuable time and resources from your company. Finding a single payment service allows you to consolidate your transactions in one place, keep better records, and avoid mistakes.

If you work with freelancers and other professionals through marketplaces like Upwork, Airbnb, Fiverr, and ClickBank, for example, you can sign up for Payoneer. Use our service to facilitate all cross-border payments so you don’t have to deal with accounting confusion.

5. Offer Multiple Options

While using a single payment service simplifies international online payments, you also want payees to have a choice about how they receive their money. For example, in India, professionals often prefer to receive their payments as bank deposits, while professionals of other countries might prefer prepaid debit cards or cash-to-cash transactions.

Survey the people with whom you work to determine their preferences. While you cannot accommodate everyone, obtaining this data helps you satisfy as many associates as possible.

Online payments make global commerce easier and more affordable. Understanding how they work enables you to take advantage of the financial and logistical benefits of doing business with foreign markets and initiating international transactions.

Originally posted in December 2016 on the Payoneer Blog