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Can you take payments in different currencies?

When expanding your company’s reach into the global marketplace, you need to think about how to best facilitate foreign currency payments. Is your business set up for multi-currency payment processing yet? Here’s what to consider as you get started.

The benefits of accepting different currencies

There are numerous benefits to global expansion, from targeting a wider demographic to increasing your brand’s reach and boosting sales. To succeed, you’ll need to enable cross-border payments that make the checkout process simple and efficient for international customers. For best results, you’ll need to think both about seasonal shopping patterns and buyer trends in each market.

Ideally, your business will list prices and take payments in each country’s local currency. For example, UK customers should be charged in GBP and US customers in USD. Otherwise, your conversion rates will suffer due to an overcomplicated checkout process. You could also run the risk of customer confusion when they look at the bank statement post-purchase. If the amount is different due to changes in currency exchange rates, the buyer might file a chargeback.

How to receive foreign currency payments

Along with investigating buyer trends, one of the first steps in accepting foreign currency payments is learning about your intended audience. Which payment methods are preferred in your target countries? For example, while Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most countries, others will prefer mobile apps or online bank transfers. Whether selling at home or overseas, offering a selection of multiple payment types will improve conversion rates.

Do you need to open separate bank accounts in each foreign currency? While this is one strategy to use, it’s hardly the most efficient. It’s difficult to transfer money between company bank accounts if each involves a separate currency. This also makes accounting far more complicated. Instead of opening multiple bank accounts in multiple currencies, the best option is to use a multi-currency payment processing company. With the right payment processor, you’ll be able to accept payments in multiple currencies, all through a single platform.

Choosing a multi-currency payment processing company

What should you look for in a foreign currency processing platform? From PayPal to Shopify, there are plenty of options to choose from. You’ll want to consider the following factors as you narrow the selection down:

  1. Location: Which foreign markets will you be targeting, and where is your company based? Each processor will offer a list of supported countries for comparison. Will all your intended currencies be supported? GoCardless operates in over 30 countries, reducing barriers with your global customers.

  2. Settlement: It’s one thing to accept different currencies. Will the payment processor also be capable of converting the funds into your home country’s currency and settling it in your primary business bank account?

  3. Checkout: In addition to supporting multiple currencies, is the checkout system available in multiple languages? User experience is a vital component of online shopping and ecommerce platforms, so be sure it’s tailored to your customers’ location.

  4. Fees: It’s rare to find a multi-currency payment processor that doesn’t charge fees. Compare conversion rates along with any other per-transaction fees before committing to a company. GoCardless has completely transparent pricing and uses the real exchange rate, providing you with the best value for your international payments.

Foreign currency processing and security

As with any online payment processing, it’s important to take security into account when thinking about accepting different currencies. Global trading comes with an inherent fraud risk, so you’ll need to put a few extra safeguards in place.

  • Look at IP addresses and double-check orders coming in from foreign countries, particularly if they involve high volumes of expensive products.

  • Keep an eye out for suspicious email addresses, particularly those generated from anonymous email services.  

  • Verify that the shipping and billing addresses match, along with phone numbers and credit card details.

Overall, there are multiple benefits to accepting payments in different currencies. Using a multi-currency payment processor takes all the guesswork out of taking international payments, ensuring that you can target a wider selection of potential customers worldwide.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

GoCardless is used by over 60,000 businesses around the world. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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