Widen your payment options and stop being so damn US centric

Checking out around the worldWhen thinking about a consumer’s decision to engage and advocate around a brand, it is easy to forget the value that the same consumer places on the brands that he or she will use to make the ultimate purchase.  There’s so much thought put into helping customers understand our brands through social media and other points of contact, and yet at the final moment when a customer is ready to make a financial commitment with their hard-earned dough… we often neglect their need for a safe, fast and easy way to pay.

In North America and a lot of Western Europe, it may seem like credit cards are the simplest and least painful way to pay for stuff.  We see a MasterCard, Visa or American Express logo at checkout, and we know that we are protected in case that website or someone in between makes fraudulent charges on our card.

We have trust in the credit card system because of federal law that does not hold us liable for charges made over $50, if we can show that they are indeed unauthorized.  But what happens within our global consumer base, when a credit card payment is not really the most comforting form of payment?  If the US government didn’t have your back, how likely would you be to fork over very personal payment details to a company outside of your country, even if you really wanted that product or service?

In many countries where the credit system is just evolving or not as forgiving, a lot of people are using other ways to pay online via bank based and cash payments.  And when they do this, they want to see the brands of the companies that they know and trust.  In the Russia, China and Brazil, consumers want to see logos for Yandex/Qiwi, Alipay and Boleto Bancário, respectively.  It shows that you as a global brand know your local consumers, and you recognize their need to pay in something other than a credit card.

To be fair, it’s a mix of the right language and the right payment type.  A recent survey by Common Sense Advisory noted that the percentage of those who buy only at local-language websites is more than 70% of consumers in Japan. France and Turkey are among the countries with more than half those surveyed who would prefer to purchase from websites in their own language.  If language can build such a high level of trust in a brand, imagine what locally preferred payment types must have on conversion rates.  It’s, at the very least, worth a second look.

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Filed under Local, Payments