Go global by presenting local payment options at checkout. 

Credit cards are one of the most popular payment methods for ecommerce, used in 41% of online transactions, most commonly in longstanding ecommerce markets, including Europe and the Americas. (Global Data) However, before accepting international payments made using credit cards, merchants should understand that there is a greater level of complexity and greater risks. 

When expanding cross-border, merchants need to understand the payment preferences of local consumers and provide a checkout experience that supports cards and other popular payment methods, such as bank transfers, ewallets, and even cash in some markets. 

In this post, we’ll cover how to accept credit cards for international purchases safely and securely and what you should know before taking your business cross-border.

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Why Accepting International Credit Cards Is Different

Although large credit card schemes like Visa, Mastercard and American Express are recognized and used globally, for merchants looking to expand into new markets, it is not realistic to assume that offering these payment methods alone will suffice. 

There are a number of factors that need to be considered when selecting a solution to accept credit cards for international transactions.

Some Cards Are Domestic Only

In many cases, cards are limited to domestic transactions and can not be used to make purchases cross-border. One way to get around this restriction is to set up a local entity within each jurisdiction where you collect payments. However, this strategy is out of reach for all but large global enterprises. An alternative solution is to localize your checkout experience to accept other payment methods in addition to credit cards. Methods such as local bank transfers, ewallets and even cash-acceptance networks will enable more international customers to buy from you.  

Visa and Mastercard Aren’t Enough

There are many card networks that are very popular in different parts of the world. These include JCB in Japan, Elo in Brazil and UnionPay in China – not to mention numerous local card schemes. To offer a truly international card acceptance solution, you need a payment provider that can accept a variety of credit card schemes popular around the globe.

Higher Declined Transaction Rates

If a merchant uses a single acquiring bank in their own market, when an international transaction is sent for authorization it is seen as foreign and has a higher likelihood of being flagged for fraud.  By using an international payment gateway, a transaction will always be viewed as local and is more likely to be authorized. 

Greater Fraud Risk

Accepting credit cards online exposes merchants to card-not-present (CNP) fraud, where fraudsters use stolen credentials to place fraudulent orders. Expanding into new markets creates new risks and merchants need to be familiar with fraud risks in any country where they do business and take the action to mitigate them. A fraud management solution is an essential part of any international card acceptance solution. 

Accept International Credit Card Payments with Rapyd

Rapyd provides the world’s largest network of local payment methods to enable merchants to accept credit cards internationally and offer popular alternative payment methods with a single payment solution. Offering customers a checkout experience that is localized and features the payment methods that they recognize and prefer can be the difference between a cart being abandoned and a transaction being completed. 

Rapyd Collect Is the Fastest Way to Accept Payments Worldwide, Learn More

Additional Risks and Considerations when Accepting International Credit Cards 

When accepting international credit cards from your customers, these are some of the additional considerations you need to understand.

  • Compliance – Merchants need to manage the complexity of ever-changing compliance obligations in the jurisdictions where they operate.
  • Fraud Risk and Chargebacks – As more transactions take place without the credit cards being presented, chargeback fraud risks are increasing, but businesses can take steps to protect themselves. 
  • Foreign Exchange and Settlement – One in four shoppers will leave a website if their preferred local currency is not offered. (Retail Info Systems) Retailers need to accept a variety of local currencies and be able to settle into the currency of their choice with cost-effective foreign exchange. 

Drive Conversions by Accepting Preferred Payment Methods

Offering customers the option to pay with their local credit card increases the level of comfort and trust. And with hundreds of different payment methods preferred around the world, merchants also need a global payments solution that includes credit cards plus alternative payment methods.

With the world’s largest local payments network, Rapyd is the fastest way to reach more customers worldwide. Simply create a free Rapyd account and add international credit card acceptance and localized alternative payment methods to your checkout experience. 

Rapyd offers pre-built plugins for major ecommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce, a hosted solution that makes it easy to integrate payments into any site, and a powerful API that makes it easy to integrate international credit card acceptance anywhere.

Whether you’re trying to grow business in the UK, Australia, Brazil, Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines, or worldwide, Rapyd has the solution to quickly and easily accept international credit cards and local payment methods.  

Simplify International Credit Card Payments with Rapyd Collect Online


Retail Info Systems. “The Correct Change: Foreign Exchange Is the Secret Weapon to Solve Cart Abandonment.” https://risnews.com/, Retail Info Systems, 23 01 2019, https://risnews.com/correct-change-foreign-exchange-secret-weapon-solve-cart-abandonment.

Global Data. “Cards dominate e-commerce payments in West while alternative payments rule in Asia, says GlobalData, 05 Feb 2019, https://www.globaldata.com/cards-dominate-e-commerce-payments-in-west-while-alternative-payments-rule-in-asia-says-globaldata/

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