Recurring Payments: Act Locally, Perform Globally

By Gabe Weisert November 19, 2014

JingJing Xia is an Associate Product Manager at Zuora

There are many challenges a business will face when expanding globally. Everything from localizing your product to adjusting your marketing efforts to cater to local preferences. But there is one area that is often overlooked when it comes to global expansion and that’s payments. When going global, the trick is to localize your payment strategy.

Global payments are complex due to the highly localized nature of payments. If you think about it, most countries have their own currency, their own set of preferred payment methods, and their own set of payment gateways. For example, last year, in the US, 98% of our customer’s transactions were processed via credit cards, and just 2% via ACH. Compare this to Canada where only 50% of transactions were processed via credit card. And if we look at the UK, this figure decreases to less than 25%. So it’s clear, credit cards are not the unanimous preferred payment method of the world. It’s also clear that each country has it’s own payment method preference.

To add to this complexity, these payment method preferences are changing every year. For example in 2014, the Single Euro Payments Area initiative (SEPA) was created to turn the fragmented national markets for euro payments into a single domestic market. This new payment method is being quickly adopted with 34 member states already on board. So we have yet another popular payment method, in a matter of 1 year.

So as a single business trying to operate in multiple countries, how do you keep up with this ever-changing payment ecosystem and how do you select the options which are most effective for your business?

The trick is to go local with payments. In order to expand globally, you need to localize your payment strategy. The first key to accepting payments globally is to accept local payment methods. For example, if you’re expanding into Europe, it would be advantageous to support SEPA payment method. If you’re expanding into Japan, it would be wise to support JCB. Australia, Australian Direct Debit, and the list goes on.

Once you’ve decided on your payment method strategy, you then have to think about payment gateways, the service provider responsible for authorizing payment methods. The problem is there is no single payment gateway that handles all global payment methods. This brings up the second key to global expansion, the ability to work with the right gateway partner in each part of the world. You want to ensure that the payment gateways you’re integrating with are able to process payments in the regions you require.

At Zuora, we’ve noticed the need for a robust and broad payment ecosystem which is why we’ve focussed heavily on our payment capabilities. Today, we support 7 of the worlds leading electronic payment methods, such as SEPA, Credit Card, ACH, and UK Direct Debit.

We couple these payment methods with deep integrations with 15 of the world’s leading payment gateway providers. Gateway providers such as Adyen, WorldPay, IP Payments, Stripe, Cybersource, Litle and Chase Paymentech to name a few. Together, this payment ecosystem allows Zuora customers to transact in over 100 countries. So there you have it, going global by being local. To find out more about Zuora’s payment capabilities read more here.