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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 26, 2010 • Issue 10:07:02

Global acquiring and fraud Q&A

By Caroline Hometh

At the 2010 Electronic Transactions Association Annual Meeting & Expo held in April, Payvision hosted a seminar entitled "Global Acquiring and Fraud." It was well attended, and during the question-and-answer period, seasoned sales professionals raised questions of interest to any business looking to expand internationally. The questions also stimulated lively discussion. The following summary highlights what was covered.

How do I market to merchants who may want to globalize their online operations and payments?

One way to effectively market to merchants is through building a website with strong search engine optimization (SEO) on keyword phrases such as 'multicurrency conversion' and 'international payments.' Eighty-seven percent of businesses do research before globalizing. Merchants need to know that you have the solutions they are seeking, and if you implement effective SEO, they'll find you.

Another critical marketing tool is to have collateral that speaks to your global solutions so that when you make presentations or conduct conference calls, you have marketing materials that back up your offerings. Prospects will inevitably ask for a brochure, media kit or product descriptions; it's essential to give them something tangible they can refer to.

What are the basic types of questions I should ask my merchants?

The three most important questions to ask your merchants are:

    1. What currencies do your customers want to shop and purchase in?
    2. What currencies do you need to settle in?
    3. Will your transactions be online or offline?

Once you have their responses, you can determine which solutions will fit their needs. For example, knowing what currencies they have to settle in will help you address their treasury requirements. Knowing whether they are online or offline will let you know if they need a virtual POS and batch processing.

What types of merchants are best suited to globalizing their business?

The merchants best suited for globalization are those in the e-tail, digital, direct response and worldwide gaming spheres.

How can I review my portfolio of merchants to see which are best suited to sell in multiple currencies?

The first step in reviewing your portfolio is to conduct a BIN (bank identification number) analysis. This can be facilitated through your processor to determine which of your transactions are foreign.

What are the trends influencing so many merchants to globalize?

The recession has served as a catalyst in motivating merchants to look beyond their traditional borders for customers. Another trend is advancements in technology that are creating an entirely new way of communicating and selling, such as apps for iPads and iPhones.

Will my merchants need to register as corporations outside the United States?

For your merchants to be recognized as multinational corporations and receive lower costs of interchange, they need to register outside their region which, in most cases, is the United States. They can do this through online organizations that specialize in this service and perform it quickly and easily, usually within one day.

Are the settlement times the same in the United States as in Europe and elsewhere?

In a word, no. It can take up to three days in Europe and even longer in other places around the world.

Are higher risks associated with acquiring merchants outside the United States?

Absolutely. The risks include differences in language, culture and business practices. That is why it is imperative to partner with a global solutions provider with extensive knowledge and experience. Do your due diligence.

Staying competitive

Your competitors are very curious about going global, and for good reason. According to a recent survey conducted by the IMR World Commerce Dashboard, 25.6 percent of the world's population is connected to the Internet, and consumers spent $489 billion via e-commerce last year. For a free DVD or PowerPoint presentation of the entire seminar, please email me at c.hometh@payvision.com. end of article

Carrie Hometh is an industry professional with more than two decades of global experience. She currently serves as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Payvision, an international payment solutions provider that offers a comprehensive suite of products and services, including global acquiring, multicurrency processing and alternative payment solutions. She can be contacted at c.hometh@payvision.com.

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