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Accepting Payments from Customers with International Credit Cards

Today most customers can be considered global consumers, they shop online at stores located all around the world, and many of these customers don’t think twice before using their credit cards while traveling outside of their home countries.

This means that today’s consumers are expecting the businesses that they shop at to be able to accept their preferred form of payment and provide the same seamless transaction experience they are used to in their home countries. 

Accepting International Credit Cards Online

With the popularity of online shopping, customers are no longer paying as much attention to where businesses are located when they’re making online purchases. This means that if you run an online business, there is a high likelihood that you will have customers from other countries wanting to make purchases using their international credit cards.

Your Helcim merchant account automatically allows you to accept international credit cards. So, for example, if you’re a business who is based in the US and you have customers visit your website from Europe, you won’t encounter an issue if they complete their purchase using their international credit card. If a customer from Europe wants to purchase a product that is listed on your website for $100 USD, they would see the purchase amount in US dollars, enter their credit card information, and complete the purchase just like they would with any other online store. Once the purchase is complete, your business will receive the funds in USD in your business’s bank account, without any currency conversion fees.

Although you won’t see any currency conversion fees in your bank account, the international customer and their bank will be the ones who are charged with the currency difference. The customer would see the $100 USD purchase on their credit card statement along with the amount it was converted to in their local currency based on the current currency conversion rates. The conversion rate will be determined by the customer’s bank based on the conversion rates of the date of purchase.   

Because your business doesn’t have to worry about any of the conversion fees or rates, it’s a very straightforward and easy process to accept international credit cards. The only fee that your business may be impacted by is the international cross-border fees that are charged by Visa and Mastercard, these fees are usually around 1-3%, depending on the type of credit card the customer used for the transaction.

Accepting International Credit Cards In-Person

If you’re accepting payments in person from customers who are on vacation from their home country or who happen to have an international credit card, you can easily accept their cards as long as your terminal is set up to accept the card brand the customer wants to use. While many customers will have Visa or Mastercard, two card brands that are quite universally accepted, some customers may have Discover, a popular US card brand, or JCB credit cards. In these cases, you would need to ensure your terminal is able to accept their card brand to be able to successfully process the transaction. 

If you process a transaction for an international credit card, the only difference from a local customer would be the addition of a cross border fee which, as mentioned above, is usually around 1-3%, depending on the customer’s credit card. The customer would see the currency exchange on their card statement and would be responsible for any foreign transaction fees or conversion fees that apply to their credit card. 

With today’s global marketplace, being able to accept international credit cards helps open your online store up to customers all around the world and welcome customers from other countries into your retail store by allowing them to use the same credit cards that they would use at home.


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