Perspective: Challenges and Risks in Cross-Border eCommerce Expansion

Setting up an international business or cross-border Web is a complex endeavor. Most successful merchants will say it’s worth the effort, but newcomers will face a few challenges.

Most businesses have experience with products, inventory, merchandising, promotions and logistics, but few have experience with electronic payments. But managing and implementing a viable payments system is critical to cross-border eCommerce success.

Here are some of the issues that arise:

  • Payment Types
  • Currency Conversion
  • Taxes (VAT)
  • Global Network of Acquiring Banks
  • Fraud and Credit Risk Prevention

These issues are real, but they’re surmountable. The good news is that a new model is emerging that addresses them and makes it much easier for merchants to literally “plug in” to cross-border eCommerce solutions.

For example, First Data has developed a turnkey offering that provides a comprehensive cross-border payments solution that can be deployed in as little as a few weeks. The keys to this new approach are First Data’s existing global network of acquiring banks, new technology for data security and currency conversion, and advanced fraud detection techniques.

Here are some of the key components of the First Data solution:

  • Single point of access to established acquirer and processor relationships simplifies management and reporting and achieves the lowest possible interchange rates
  • Support for all relevant local payment methods and types including tax and VAT accounting and payment submission
  • Ability to accept online, mail order/telephone order or retail transactions over a fast, robust and PCI-compliant network
  • Ease of integration and support, with compliance and other security and fraud-prevention mechanisms are handled within the networks as a service
  • Dynamic currency conversion to offer goods and services to consumers in local currencies
  • Integrated Web-based management tools for managing multiple payment networks and for reconciling and researching transactions
  • Local risk management based on payment type and geography, providing more accurate models to reduce risk and prevent fraud

This new plug-and-play eCommerce model has significant benefits, including faster time to market, more rapid expansion and entry into subsequent markets, lower maintenance and personnel costs, reduced fraud and simplified reporting and management through consolidated Web interfaces.

First Data’s turnkey solution reduces the cost, complexity and potential fraud risks associated with cross-border eCommerce while enabling merchants to focus on what they do best: design and deliver great products and services.