How global payments will drive your international expansion

Global payments will help you build trust, increase conversions and grow revenue in every market.

Global expansion used to be reserved for big companies. Not any longer.

Now, thanks to global payments technology it's easy to expand to new markets quickly.

In some cases you can do so with almost no extra investment. Which means hundreds of millions of shoppers are within your reach.

And the timing is good. While growth in some domestic markets is slowing, cross-border ecommerce is growing at more than double the rate.

In fact, Forrester predicts that cross-border purchases will account for 20% of global ecommerce by 2022. And sales will total $627 billion.

Understand local payment culture, and you're well on your way.

The opporuntity is vast. And, in many cases, it's simply a matter of understanding the local payment culture, and you're well on your way.

Adyen has helped businesses like Spotify, Netflix and Uber expand with global payments. We have teams of experts around the world with an excellent understanding of local payment landscapes. And we know what it takes to be successful in each market.

To guide you on your way, here's a breakdown of our recommendations for global expansion.

Global payments with a local touch

Cards might be popular in the U.S. and the U.K. but in some regions local payment methods are as diverse as language.


Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands represent a significant opportunity for expansion. This is because shoppers in these countries are open to buying from foreign websites. While Southern European countries, like Spain and Italy, tend to favor local brands.

iDEAL accounts for over 60% of online transactions in the Netherlands.

But, to capitalize on this, it's important to support the right payment methods. In the Netheralds, for example, iDEAL accounts for over 60% of online transactions. And in Germany, SOFORT and Giropay are popular. While in Belgian, shoppers perfer to pay with local card scheme Bancontact. Across the Europe SEPA Direct Debit is widely used.

Online gaming giant Travian Games implemented local payment methods to help drive conversions. After going live with iDEAL in the Netherlands, it now accounts for 60% of Dutch payments. Paysafecard has helped to increase the volume of young gamers and increased conversions in the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia.

BRIC markets

Beyond Europe, some fast-growing BRIC markets are accessible without a local entity.


China is the biggest ecommerce market in the world. And, since local shoppers are open to buying from abroad, it has huge potential. But it's crucial you support local methods like Alipay, WeChat Pay and China UnionPay. These methods account for about 80% of Chinese online payments and will give you a game-changing advantage.

The Cambridge Satchel Company made significant inroads into China by supporting Alipay. Three months after adding this method, authorization rates had increased by 15% and conversions by 5%.


Russia is also a market that should not be under-estimated. Ecommerce is expected to reach €15.99 billion by the end of 2017. And, with relatively low internet penetration, there's still plenty of room for growth.

Expect much greater market penetration in Russia by supporting e-wallets like Qiwi.

It's a prime example of a major market in which credit cards are not dominant. In fact cards represent only a small share of the online transactions. And, like and eDarling, you can expect much greater market penetration by supporting e-wallets like Qiwi. Cash-on delivery and online banking are also popular.


Brazil is the largest online market in LATAM. It represents over 40% of the region’s ecommerce sales, with sales reaching $19 billion in 2015. Internet penetration has been growing in recent years and 66% of the population is now online. So the potential is only going to increase.

Brazilian shoppers are avid credit card users. But it's important to note that many of these cards are not enabled for cross-border payments. Boleto Bancário, a cash-based payment method, is also popular - especially among those without a bank account.

It's also worth considering that 80% of online payments are paid in installments. And you'll have much more success in Brazil if you accommodate this preference.

Quick wins with an English-language website

It can seem like a lot of work translate your website for each new market. But the good news is that an English-language website will give you access to some of the world’s most enthusiastic cross-border spenders. In Australia 36% of online retail purchases are from international merchants. And, in Canada this number rises to 75%. In both cases, international credit cards are dominant and so the entry barriers are very low.

In the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia many local customers are proficient in English. So an English site, with a relevant selection of local payment methods will get you up and running. But of course translation into local languages is the logical next step.

It's also worth optimizing your reach through International Search Engine Optimization (ISEO).

In some markets its possible to optimize your presence step-by-step. For example delivery first, then currency, local payments, language, ISEO etc. But in markets like China and Brazil, you need a localized customer journey from the start. In this case a holistic approach is essential. This includes all aspects of cross-border trading. And you must ensure that your technology partners are able to support you.

Just don't forget to mobile

Of course today many markets are mobile first, or at least headed that way. So it's important each payment method you support works well on mobile. 

A world of opportunity through global payments

As global ecommerce continues to gather speed, you have an exciting opportunity to tap into markets all over the world. But it's crucial you understand local shopping behaviors, language expectations, and payment preferences.

Global payments providers like Adyen will work in partnership with you as you expand. We'll advise you on local strategies in each market. And, since everything is managed in one platform, adding new methods is as easy as flipping a switch.

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