Using Alternative Payment Methods To Attract Visitors To Your Domestic Market

alternative payment methods

Alternative payment methods (APM) are a key enabler for merchants who want to expand into overseas markets and take online payments. As we have explored in this blog before, providing consumers with their preferred method of payment is an essential part of the payment journey that can make the difference between a successful transaction and an abandoned shopping basket.

While credit or debit payments may be a popular online payment method in your domestic market, in many international markets APMs are more widely used. These include direct debit, bank transfers,  e-wallets and numerous other methods that differ from conventional card payments.

But what if you’re not interested in expanding overseas? What some merchants are overlooking is the opportunity to offer alternative payment methods to consumers in your domestic market. Not just global APMs like PayPal, which are increasingly being adopted by consumers in the UK and Europe, but localised APMs that will increase conversion from visitors to your home country.

These visitors could be tourists, international business people, students, or even non-nationals living and working in your domestic market. They generally bank in their native country and may not be familiar with popular payment methods in your market. However, they want the ability to make payments on your website such as booking tickets to be downloaded or collected from your box office, pay for services or accommodation, and buy products to be collected or delivered to their hotel or address while resident in your country.

Converting Customers Using Alternative Payment Methods

Successful merchants are seizing this opportunity in a number of ways. Some online merchants, that are specifically targeting visitors or non-nationals from overseas, have localised their website for each target market with translated content and localised payment methods. Visitor attractions, hotels and universities increasingly have localised websites for key markets.

Others want the opportunity to convert international customers without the expense of a fully translated and localised website and marketing strategy, and instead optimise the payment process for these customers. That involves offering their target customers with familiar payment options and multicurrency transactions.

To this end merchants need to balance the cost of offering additional payment methods, FX fees and acquiring fees – and the risk that some markets present – with the opportunity to increase revenue and attract new customers that might otherwise buy from a competitor.

We recommend that you explore this with your payment service provider (PSP) to benefit from their knowledge and experience in different markets and your sector. To optimise your payment journey for international customers it is very important that your organisation partners with a provider who has this expertise to ensure that costs are minimised. Especially when launching a new payment option designed to attract a specific customer profile.

If your organisation is not investing in website translation and marketing to attract overseas visitors, there are tools available that can help streamline the payment process. These include geo-location tools, Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), and localised fraud prevention tools to protect your business from different market risks.

Along with offering alternative payment methods optimised for international customers, Dynamic Currency Conversion is another useful tool that can increase conversion rates when taking credit or debit card payments. This converts transaction values into your customer’s local currency, fixing the foreign exchange rate at point of sale.

Merchants who expect to receive large volumes of foreign credit or debit card transactions can also generate revenue in the form of commission. If your target international customers use credit or debit cards for online payments it can be very advantageous tool to use. Speak to your PSP about this, and specifically ask for their market insights to ascertain whether DCC could be beneficial for your business.

Higher education institutes and universities will find our whitepaper on DCC a useful resource. This has been written specific for the education sector and provides insight into optimising online payments for international students. Download the whitepaper here.

For further support contact your PSP or speak to our payment experts. Call 0333 240 6000 or email [email protected]