Expanding Into International Markets Requires More Than Additional Currency Acceptance, Language Translation and Compliance

February 15, 2011 (PaymentsMarket.com) – North American and European internet merchants have many opportunities to expand in fast growing emerging economies such as the Latin American Caribbean (LAC) region.

According a January 2010 reportby MasterCard, there are now over 260 million MasterCard and MAESTRO branded cards generating 2.8 billion transactions and a gross dollar volume of US $221 billion. This is up 17.4% versus 2009 numbers.

Ecommerce merchants that can quickly adapt can take advantage of these growing LAC market trends but must be prepared to deal with much more than language or legal barriers and shipping logistics. International expansion requires knowledge of regional banks, domestic payment solutions, local consumer behavior and technical capabilities beyond what a traditional online payment solutions provider may offer.

International credit card usage is growing, but many consumers in emerging markets prefer a variety of cash-based payment methods for online transactions. Digital walletsor e-wallets, where digital cash is stored for online transactions, as well as bank transfers, prepaid cards and voucher services are how many consumers in these emerging markets pay for a product or service.

These alternative payment methods can often be contrary to what a merchant usually views as part of their customer references and payment mix. Recognizing the importance of these different payment options can be a challenge, but is critical to success in the region. Supporting alternative payments is as dependent on the local culture in terms of most popular methods as it is in the technology. Knowing the difference comes from business experience or good partners.  As a merchant, if you choose to ignore the intricacies of which payment options and regional banking relationships matter most, you can risk millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Customers in all parts of the world support products and services based on convenience and personal buying preference. If you are an online merchant expanding into Latin America and the Caribbean market, it is best to choose a payment service provider that has experience and a regional network of banking relationships. This means a payment service provider offering more than just technology, a partner that supports the proper payment alternatives, global currencies and has the banking relationships needed to succeed.

First Atlantic Commerce is a unique type of service provider offering a blend of technology, service and knowledge. This knowledge is based on relationships and experience working with banks and merchants in the region to enable secure and efficient online payments. “Having access to banks in the region and preferred payment methods are keys to success,” says Tricia Lines Hill, VP of Marketing and Corporate Communications for First Atlantic Commerce (FAC). “Part of our service offering is to find a suitable acquiring bank, alternative or local payment method for the merchant based on their business type, merchant history and target market,” says Lines Hill. “If there isn’t a fit with one of our current payment methods or bank relationships, we will work with our clients to find the right payment relationships for their business.”

Not many third party payment gateways work as hard educating merchants on how to grow internationally. Companies such as First Atlantic Commerce are good partners for those ecommerce merchants planning to expand into Latin America and Caribbean region. To learn more how FAC can accommodate your international business expansion goals visit their websiteor their virtual boothon PaymentsMarket.com