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The Best Credit Card Processors in Europe for Accepting International Payments

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Choose the right credit card processor to make accepting international payments in Europe simple and easy.

Customers making purchases online have come to expect that they will be able to pay using their credit or debit card — no matter what country they are living in. Merchants need to ensure that when international customers look to pay online using their credit card, the process is fast and cost effective

The processing solution should not only integrate seamlessly with existing and future business systems, but also address the requirements of online and offline transactions — both domestically and internationally. To choose the best credit card processors in Europe for accepting international payments, merchants need to understand the costs of card processing while ensuring that the solution provides the security and compliance functionality to protect the business and the customer without impacting the customer experience. 

Read on to understand how seamless integration, high approval rates, mobile wallet and POS support and competitive pricing should be considered when selecting a processor to handle a cross-border card payments in Europe.  

 

What are the Essential Features of a Credit Card Processor for Europe?

Merchants need to evaluate a number of different factors and their impact on their business when comparing international credit card processors. This not only includes the cost and fee structure, but also how easily it can be integrated into the business and support secure online and offline transactions globally. Cost will always be a consideration for the service, but so too will the fee structure, the integrations, POS and mobile support, and approval rates. 

  • Integrate seamlessly – APIs are powering innovative fintech experiences and many businesses can benefit from an API-enabled solution. For speed and simplicity many payment providers also offer pre-built plugins for popular e-commerce platforms and hosted solutions that require little coding to deploy.
  • Balance approvals and risk- Merchants need to secure their payment processing to protect their business and customers from risk. Many credit card companies reject international transactions at a much higher rate than domestic transitions — a huge challenge for those doing business in Europe. This becomes an issue because if credit card companies see high rates of fraud or rejections, they can revoke a merchant’s right to process payments. 
  • Offers integrated fraud protection – An international payment processor that provides an integrated fraud protection solution is essential to balance high-approval rates with fraud risks. This is achieved by offering customizable rules and protecting transactions across payment methods including cards, bank transfers and wallets.

 

  • Support POS and mobile wallet payments – In addition to online experiences, merchants need to understand the preferences and expectations of offline customers in multicultural Europe. The online credit card processor and the POS system need to work together to create seamless and efficient experiences for customers, support international expansion to process cards and accept local payment methods across multiple geographies where local payment preferences vary widely. As technologies provide customers with greater convenience for making payments, merchants must keep pace. 
  • Support Preferred Payment Methods – Only around 23% of global transactions were done with credit cards in 2020. As technologies provide customers with greater convenience for making payments, merchants must keep pace. From accepting contactless payments in store to offering the most popular payment methods online, merchants need a solution that enables them to accept cards plus local and alternative payment methods.
  • Offer competitive pricing – The pricing model determines the cost of processing. Some merchants prefer flat-rate pricing that allows them to budget and forecast based on known costs. Tiered pricing changes based on the risk associated with each transaction, so it may only be advantageous where merchants have high volumes of low-risk transactions. Interchange plus is a fairly simple pricing model, but the statements and management are far more complex and only offered to merchants with high transaction volumes. Working with a provider that offers a low-cost payment processing platform can cut fees significantly without compromising service.

 

What are the Top Credit Card Processors Active in Europe for Accepting International Payments?

Rapyd

Rapyd helps businesses enable customers around the world to pay with their preferred payment methods, such as local cards, ewallets, cash and even bank transfers – in addition to globally accepted credit/debit cards. Rapyd’s range of products and services help merchants to accelerate growth, increase conversions and lower the barriers to doing business anywhere in the world. Its credit card processors for Europe make accepting international payments easy.

  • Extensive payment network – In addition to credit cards, merchants can accept local and alternative payment methods that are known and trusted including bank transfers, ewallets and cash to drive more revenue
  • Available almost all European countries and territories – Rapyd works with merchants based all across Europe, from those located in some of the smallest countries and territories like the Faroe Islands and Montenegro to merchants domiciled in the UK, Germany and Russia
  • Multi-currency support – Rapyd holds balances in 65+ currencies and supports efficient foreign exchange and single currency settlement.
  • Low cost – Reduce current payment processing fees by up to 50%, while still enjoying robust features and hundreds of payment methods.
  • Secure – Robust, built-in fraud protection protects customers and the business across all countries and payment methods.
  • Integration options – Merchants can add Rapyd to sites, apps, and popular eCommerce platforms with plugins hosted solutions, an API and SDKs.

 

Worldpay from FIS

Worldpay is an established payment processing company that was acquired by FIS. It accepts payments via various methods including credit/debit cards and ewallets, and offers merchants the Card Machines for POS, mobile, or virtual payments.  

FIS is a proprietary integrated payments platform that supports both online and in-person transactions available to enterprise customers only.  

Pros

  • Scalability
  • Interchange-plus pricing available
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Lack of transparency
  • High complaint volume
  • Unclear pricing

 

Stripe

Stripe is an online payment platform that processes both card payments and ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments. Its capabilities include recurring billing, accepting bitcoin, and facilitating payments on marketplace-style platforms. Stripe’s pricing is pay-as-you-go, with a fee taken from each transaction.

Pros

  • Developer tools and support
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Multi-currency support

Cons

  • Not available for merchants based in Central and Eastern European countries, like Belarus, Croatia, and Georgia, or smaller nations like Monaco and Gibraltar
  • High instance of account holds for high-risk merchants
  • Requires an advanced level of technical competence
  • Does not accept PayPal 
  • Stripe aggregates accounts rather than opens individual accounts, resulting in account holds and/or terminations 

Paypal

PayPal was designed for easy setup, which is ideal for small businesses. As a known brand, PayPal can help your business build trust with potential customers. PayPal is available in over 200 countries/regions and supports 25 currencies, meaning that it’s a truly global option for businesses looking for an international payment gateway provider.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • No monthly fees
  • In-store payments

Cons

  • May not suit enterprise needs
  • If you reside in Armenia, Belarus, the British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, Macedonia, or Montenegro, you cannot receive payments via PayPal

 

Adyen

Adyen’s online services function as a payment gateway and payment service provider to allow merchants to accept credit card, bank-based payments and other digital transactions. Managing the complexity of international processing makes Adyen best suited to established companies looking to expand globally. The pricing model may not be attractive to merchants with low volume. 

Pros

  • Full-stack payment service provider (PSP)
  • No monthly, set up or application fees
  • No early termination fee

Cons

  • Monthly minimum required
  • Not suitable for high-risk merchants

Choose the Best Credit Card Processor to Successfully Grow eCommerce in Europe

As businesses develop new markets across borders, they must manage the complexity of cross-border credit card transactions and alternative payment methods.  With new markets come new risks and merchants need to understand what these are and how to mitigate them in every European country where they do business to keep approval rates high. 

To accept payments – credit card and other – from international customers, retailers need to understand and manage additional considerations. These range from ensuring integration with technology and business systems, to valuing different pricing models to ultimately accepting locally issued cards and payment methods that customers prefer to find success in European markets.

 

Drive Higher Revenue. Offer international customers their preferred payment methods with Rapyd’s low-cost processing platform.

 

Sources

Merchant Maverick. “Take Your Business Global With The Best International Payment Processing Options.” 2021 https://www.merchantmaverick.com/international-merchant-services/

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio for Pexels

 

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