Prepare for International Payment Processing
BY Delilah Obie
Many payment processing and merchant account providers do not accommodate international commerce. If you plan to market your product globally, you may need to search for an international provider. One such company is PlanetPayment. With this service your business doesn't require a U.S. bank account and will be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards; accept payment in most currencies; and settle transactions in the major currency of your choice. PlanetPayment provides a merchant account and payment gateway software and claims to be compatible with most shopping cart technology. ClickPay apparently specializes in international accounts.
The standard rates for a merchant account and payment gateway include a setup fee of $595, a monthly fee of $25, a per-transaction fee of $0.50, and a discount rate of 3.95%. For more information, visit MerchantWorkz or ShopforRates.com.
Other international payment processors may have special requirements or impose limitations on their services. Some processors require that a merchant not based in the U.S. have a physical presence in this country, while others require only a U.S. address and phone number. Requiring a U.S. credit card merchant account, checking account, and federal tax identification number is also common. Don't be surprised if you encounter separate application and setup fees for obtaining an international merchant account, as well as additional fees per transaction. MerchantService.com and iTransact.com are two other payment processors that offer an international commerce solution. Please see the MerchantWorkz profile of merchant account providers.
In Europe, smart cards are quite common. One such card, popular in the Netherlands, is Chipper.com, although it is complex to use. Another, popular in Belgium, is Proton. Bull.net features smart cards for international markets.