Expand your markets with the payment tech that comes with experience
One of the unexpected consequences of the immediate effects of the COVID pandemic is that many people became quickly more skilled in technology. The enforced isolation for millions meant that to access vital services and communicate, those people who were technically averse had quickly to learn to buy food, call loved ones, and find relevant local news.
After the initial few days, skill levels and confidence went up, and many previously “traditional” consumers discovered that suddenly they were much happier ordering and paying for goods and services online.
While it’s difficult to quantify this overall trend, the statistics show that many are now more confident than they were to work from home (see stats for the UK, the US, and Australia), confidence that came for many from their enforced period of learning during lockdown.
For many retailers, the events of the last two years have therefore placed he emphasis firmly on the “clicks” portion of the “clicks and bricks” hybrid of doing business that predominated pre-2020. That’s great news for many and offers a significant opportunity to reach new markets and expand the online side of many businesses.
Details that can delay
However, with a greater presence online comes a larger attack surface for criminals, both traditional fraudsters and hackers. New “customers” with stolen credit cards and forged credentials can offer just as much a threat as can a wholesale hacking attempt.
But this article is not centered around cybersecurity specifically. Instead, we’re looking at the ways that payment providers can help companies take advantage of new markets and expand on the back of the increased demand for online purchasing.
In addition to greater possibilities of fraud, there are also large issues surrounding data governance and statutory compliance when trading internationally. For example, many retailers are aware of GDPR in the EU and the CDPA in the US. But many will not know (to take a single example) that any customer details on Russian nationals have to be held on data centers on Russian soil! In the Asia-Pacific, the governance, local tax, and security requirements turn from a trickle to a deluge.
Over and above local laws, there are issues in new markets especially, with local customs: some areas prefer cash-on-delivery payments, while certain countries are more advanced in electronic payment acceptance than others. In brief, the opportunities are out there waiting for the ambitious retailer hoping to expand the online part of the business, but there are multiple traps and pitfalls for the unprepared.
Some ways through
Many payment providers, especially those designed for smaller businesses, are modeled on simplicity, ease of use, and speed of deployment (“Click Here to Start Your Own Online Store”!). However, because every business started small, many online retail companies of significant size are still using the payment facilities offered by their initial choice of a payment provider.
While many (rightly) are of the opinion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, many platforms are ill-equipped to match their users; ambitions with powerful payment facilities. That might include the possibility to trade in multiple currencies, but as this article has so far pointed out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Specific business challenges around exploring new markets and expanding payment facilities will vary from retailer to retailer. Some may wish to offer part payments to domestic customers, while others wish to explore three new Asia-Pacific territories in one exercise. At Tech HQ, we’ve been focusing on several payment gateways and payment providers over the last few weeks, and it’s worth noting that the on-hand expertise and consultants available to users of cleverbridge set that company apart.
The company’s long involvement with global traders means that, in all likelihood, one of its clients will have “been there, done that,” and this information is right there for the asking. The company’s advisory people are always on hand to answer the most complex or mundane of queries, from domestic or overseas tax matters through to the best ways to trade in Laos.
Naturally, the cleverbridge payment platform automates and executes much complexity under the hood, making life easier for its users, and customers too. Whether you’re selling software-as-a-service or one-off luxury apparel, the cleverbridge platform runs the financial show.
However, unlike many of its competitors that offer a “fire and forget” service mentality, the cleverbridge platform comes with all the help, guidance, and advice even the most conservative retailer will need to make the most of the opportunities presented by the newly tech-fluent buyer — even if they are on the other side of the globe! Well recommended.