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May 13, 2015
mm Written by:
Ralf Ohlhausen

Business Development Director

How to integrate international payment solutions

Make or buy? International web shop operators frequently ask this question, however it is particularly pressing when it comes to integrating international payment solutions. The alternative to doing the integration work oneself is to use a payment service provider (PSP), who know the preferred payment methods in each country worldwide and can submit proposals for the ideal payment mix for the target industry and customers. They also offer a broad selection of services, ranging from technical integration to comprehensive, full-service packages where the PSP provides help for all important issues. There are no clear rules on whether an online retailer should use a PSP; however the further away from the home country you are planning to expand your online shopping adventure, the more important partners are.

Basic issues

The most important question for all retailers is: how do I get my money? You first should clarify whether you have to open an account in the other country for the desired payment type, or if this is not required. Of course it is easier if you don’t need an account, and in this case all that is needed is a good contract with a PSP. It’s important that international businesses know the regulatory requirements and whether the company must have a registered office in the relevant country or not. PSPs can usually provide prompt information on such questions.

Avoiding money problems

Before deciding to integrate a particular payment type, dealers should check the specific characteristics of each method; is there a payment guarantee, and which default scenarios are possible? For instance, is it possible that the payment never reaches the retailer due to payment recalls or fraud?

International retailers are always one step behind the local providers, and it’s therefore important to discover the legal options that you can pursue to collect the money. One should estimate the costs that may be incurred through these eventualities in advance.

Answering technical questions

Retailers should clarify how the desired payment methods are to be integrated and operated on a technical level. Do you want to do the integration yourself, which usually results in time and effort spent on programming, or will a partner do this for you? The alternative is to use complete modules for shops; however, it is not always possible to find a suitable add-on module for every combination of shop payment methods. The corporate strategy plays an important role for the decision: those programming the complete shop and organising the whole technology themselves can also integrate the payment methods.

Working with a partner also offers some important benefits, for example, you do not need to concern yourself with updating the payment types as the service provider will do this for you.

Service provider or DIY?

Although service providers spare an international retailer a lot of work, they also cost money. The calculations will show whether a do-it-yourself initiative will pay off or not. However, as soon as the number of international shops grows, it is advisable to work with a partner due to the commensurate increase in legal requirements and larger number of payment methods required.

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Tags:
alternative payment methods | APM | credit cards | e-commerce | international