While many UK shoppers have returned to buying in-store following the COVID-19 lockdown measurements, some 17% of British respondents said they shop exclusively online – the highest level of any of the markets globally surveyed by YouGov in its International Omnichannel Retail Report 2021.
This change in shopping behaviour has seen many consumers forging new relationships with online suppliers, both in their own country and overseas. The increase in demand for cross-border transactions presents a great opportunity for merchants to expand their customer base by acquiring customers on a global scale.
One of the ways you can create a good first impression with potential overseas customers is by accepting payments in a wider range of currencies. According to research carried out by RIS News, one in four shoppers will leave a website if their preferred local currency is not available.
A short explainer video on our YouTube channel talks about the importance of accepting multi-currency payments online.
WHAT IS MULTI-CURRENCY PAYMENT PROCESSING?
Most card processors will allow you to accept payments in one currency, which can present unnecessary limitations if you are looking to win customers from other countries whilst also ensuring a positive customer experience.
Multi-currency payment processing makes it possible for your customers to make online purchases in their local currency, regardless of the currency used for your business bank account. For example, that means you could accept payments in Euros, US Dollars or other currencies and still be paid in Pounds Sterling, if you are in the UK.
HOW CAN MERCHANTS ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES?
While many payment providers only allow your business to take payments in a single currency, some providers support multi-currency payment acceptance. You will need to choose a card services provider that offers this feature for their merchant accounts. This means your customers can view and purchase any of your products in the currency that they feel most comfortable using.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ACCEPTING MULTIPLE CURRENCIES ONLINE?
A MORE TRUSTWORTHY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
When customers are forced to try and convert prices to their own currency, it can result in a frustrating shopping experience and in turn lead to higher rates of shopping cart abandonment.
Supporting your customer’s local currency means that prices are clear and recognisable, without any confusion or nasty surprises on their statement. This can increase the likelihood of those customers returning as you have started to build a trusting relationship with them.
REDUCE REFUNDS AND CHARGEBACKS
Offering to do business in a currency your new customer is familiar with and uses regularly can also avoid any misunderstandings or ambiguity regarding pricing. As the final cost for the customer is not revealed until after the checkout process has been completed, a refund request or chargeback attempt can occur if the cost was not what they were expecting.
Chargebacks are frustrating, time consuming and expensive for you. A key benefit of accepting multi-currency payments is that the total cost is made perfectly clear and concise. This keeps your customer happy while reducing the volume of chargebacks you may need to dispute.
NO INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTION FEES
It is no secret that customers love to save money. As a merchant, accepting payments in a customer’s local currency can help them avoid any conversion fees that otherwise would have been imposed by their card issuing bank. By accepting a wide range of currencies, you can stop customers from being presented with any unexpected costs. This also reduces the strain on your customer support staff, as there will be no need to explain that international transactions fees are charged by a customer’s card issuing bank and not by the merchant.