Interview with Cardpay on how ecommerce businesses can navigate international payments methods

Monday 2 December 2019 12:24 CET | Editor: Oana Ifrim | Interview

Kirill Evstratov, CEO and Founder of Cardpay, discusses ecommerce and the factors involved with accepting payments from international customers

Can you tell us more about Cardpay and its partners?

Cardpay is made up of a team of international financial technology experts, with the company itself being around for over 10 years now. Our team has built a platform which allows for ecommerce businesses to easily accept payments through over 300 payment solutions.

It’s through our solution that we work to greatly improve your businesses ability to compete on an increasingly global and digital marketplace; granting you instant access to any regional market and the ability to immediately do business with customers from all over the world from day one.

Essentially, we serve as your gateway to a local payment ecosystem.

What can be easier? – one contract, one API integration, one dashboard to stay in control of your payments? Along with an easy to follow integration, dashboard and payment solution, we have several offices with local teams situated on 4 continents. This is one of the attributes of our business that we believe sets us apart from others out there – we can process payments using any kind of currency, while offering insights on a local level as well as support from payment professionals that are well-versed on these countries.

Regarding our customers, we see a lot of value in collaborating with global brands as consumers in the emerging markets have a healthy appetite for all the latest and the greatest from the fashion and technology trendsetters. With latest mobile phones being well over USD 1,000 mark we see installment plans becoming more and more popular. We also work with a number of businesses to distribute digital content that they might need to start accepting recurring payments from global customers.

One of the other industries that we’ve been really intrigued by is digital entertainment. Consumption of music, gaming and video content keeps growing at a staggering rate. It’s for this reason that we started working with business owners to allow them to provide recurring payments through their eCommerce websites. Providing them with the flexibility that customers are looking for.

When setting up and trying to sell to customers as an ecommerce business, what are some of the challenges businesses face?

When you choose to embark on a mission of international expansion, you’re going to be coming face-to-face with a lot of challenges. These range from how you’re supposed to comply with local and international regulations to get yourself established in the first place. All of this is before you even get to the matter of taking payments from your customers.

We often take for granted that Debit and Credit cards are the payment methods of choice all over the world. Sure, they’re popular in the US and Europe, but that’s not the case with other continents – where it can vary dramatically!

So when we consider these as being some of the big obstacles you face, the biggest of all of them is cart abandonment. And there’s one industry statistic that sticks out to me, and that’s Cart Abandonment statistics. Some of these studies have shown that up to 70% of customers abandon their online shopping cart for various reasons.

A big part of that is the fact that their preferred payment methods aren’t available to them at the time of checkout.

With that in mind, does that boil down to a problem of user experience, convenience or security?

To be perfectly honest, it depends. Countries like China, for example: it’s an exceptionally digitalized society, with hundreds of millions of people on ‘super-apps’ like WeChat. It has become so popular that it has its own in-app payment solution, which has unsurprisingly rocketed upward to become a hugely popular payment tool.

From this example alone, it’s clear to see that convenience is a game changer for payments in that area of the world, and that’s not a surprise – we all want to buy things with minimal disruption of our lives and time.

Local mobile wallets are ubiquitous across the Asian continent: with domestic iterations being popular in countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and beyond. These are tried and tested solutions with users in the tens of millions range.

For other regions of the world like Latin America, such as Brazil – there is a huge reliance on these domestic payment solutions on account of an as yet unbanked segment of the population; to give you a greater sense of scale – close to 44% of its total population (50+ million) don’t have a bank account. As a result, they rely on solutions like Boleto which is paper slip with a barcode or electronic voucher which can be scanned at any corner shop, cash gets counted and this way the online merchant gets paid.

To us, it sounds unusually complicated for taking care of an online payment, but for many families and individuals, it’s part of their routine.

In Mexico, you have a relatively similar situation: 63% of its population don’t have a bank account and those who are weary of using cards online due to a high level of card fraud. So they end up turning to local payment methods allowing to pay in cash for goods and services bought online this way reducing the risk associated with providing their card details to a merchant.

While it’s very much in its early stages, crypto payments are becoming increasingly popular, with early adopters in emerging markets across the world seeking out alternative payment solutions for buying goods online, and digital currencies present an interesting prospect.

And this doesn’t apply only to digital content. If crypto can be easily converted back and forth to fiat within the same wallet it becomes just another legitimate payment method and merchants need to be ready to accept it.

Wherever we are in the world, it’s important to observe consumer behaviour and the nuances that alter these specific markets compared to other regions of the world. We, at Cardpay, strive to delve into these consumer behaviours, take them into account, and provide a wide array of international and local payment solutions for businesses seeking out an international audience.

What are the keys to success when launching in multiple geographies?

Trying to get your brand out there can really multiply your problems. That’s especially true if you haven’t taken into consideration the specifics of the regions that you’re trying to get plugged into.

Sure, you can go live, generate some initial traction and traffic to your website, but that only matters so far as there’s a good conversion rate, which you likely won’t get.

There are a number of reasons why this might happen: clunky and unintuitive websites, poor UX design, high shipping costs, long delivery times. More simply put for many companies, however, is when a customer wants to pay and simply can’t. If the latter’s the case – you lose revenue and a customer, and that customer leaves your site, maybe forever.

We, in Europe, have used a model that has been relatively effective for us in our hemisphere, but it’s simply unreasonable to expect other continents and countries to be expected to do business in the same way. As a result, we have to boil it down to a fundamental formula – which is having a business model, website and, more importantly, a payment experience that is conducive to a positive user experience.

Localisation is essential; from the web content to offering payments in an array of currencies and systems that are frequently used in that area of the world. Do this and you’ll see your likelihood of a successful sale and, as a result, successful business, increase dramatically.

Moving forward, what is the future of ecommerce payments?

According to the latest industry estimates, the global ecommerce market is poised to reach a total of USD 4 trillion in volume by 2020. We’re seeing a lot more of this growth from emerging markets like Asia and Latin America. Both regions are seeing a more upwardly mobile, technologically driven population. And as their disposable income continues to grow, they’ll demonstrate far more purchasing power.

What this means is far more competition between businesses, and whichever business that can successfully provide a frictionless journey through their store will be among the winners. And this is precisely what we’re trying to help businesses achieve - we want to help our merchants optimize the checkout process, offer more local payment methods, more currencies, improve conversion rates, and, of course, customer experience.

About Kirill Evstratov 

Kirill Evstratov is a serial entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Cardpay – global fintech provider and payment processor helping thousands of ecommerce businesses around the world accept payments  online. Kirill has extensive experience in the payments field as he was a founder of few fintech startups in Europe and Asia. Cardpay was started in 2009 to serve the needs of companies looking to expand overseas and sell their goods and services to consumers across multiple countries. Since then Cardpay team has grown to over 200 people spread across 10 offices around the world. Under Kirill’s leadership the company has become one of the leading providers in the payment processing industry and continues to grow at a fast pace in the US, LATAM, Europe and Asia.  

About Cardpay  

Cardpay is a global merchant acquirer on a mission to enable fast, convenient and secure payments for businesses worldwide. We are a regulated Financial Institution offering a wide range of services, including payment gateway, card acquiring, alternative payment methods, recurring and instalment payments, business accounts, card issuing, foreign exchange and more. From London to Singapore and from San Francisco to Sao Paolo we help companies increase revenue and improve conversion rates for their ecommerce businesses.

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Keywords: CardPay, interview, Kirill Evstratov, merchants, payments , payment gateway, card acquiring, alternative payment methods, recurring payments, business accounts, card issuing, foreign exchange
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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