The Global E-Commerce Payments Guide

With cross-border ecommerce growing at more than double the rate of domestic ecommerce, the opportunity for growth is enormous.

How a payments-first strategy can drive global expansion

For ecommerce businesses with international ambitions, the payments function is not just important, but should be a first consideration in global expansion – even before website localization or setting up local entities.

Many success stories such as and Daniel Wellington show that even with only an English-language website and no local entities, rapid global expansion is possible by offering key local payment methods and local currencies at the checkout stage.

The reason for this is fairly simple. While there are literally hundreds of millions of online shoppers across the globe that have discretionary spending power, a relatively high level of English, and an internet connection, far fewer of these are using international credit cards to make online purchases. For example:

In China, only 1% of online shoppers pay with international credit card brands.

In Brazil, only 30% of credit cards can make international payments. And in Germany, only 25% of shoppers use credit cards 
when making an online purchase.

Why local payments are crucial to success for global players

At the other end of the scale, offering local payment methods such as the above is absolutely crucial for big, established businesses to reach local shoppers.

For example, businesses such as Facebook and Evernote offer local payment methods as diverse and geographically widespread as Boletos in Brazil, Alipay in China, and SOFORT in Germany to ensure they reach the critical mass of customers in these markets.

The Global E-Commerce Payments Guide

The size of the opportunity and the importance of the payments function are both enormous, but how can merchants best take advantage?

To help businesses large and small make sense of the fractured global payments landscape, and provide a useful reference point when considering international expansion, we are delighted to release our report, The Global E-Commerce Payments Guide (and accompanying infographic, How to reach global shoppers with local payments). In the report, you’ll find:

  • The breakdown of payment methods in 29 of the most exciting markets around the world. 
  • Inside tips gained through extensive on-the-ground experience for setting up local payment methods.
  • Information on local payment cultures.

Please note: This guide was created in 2015. Some of the information may be out of date.

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