Billing and Acquiring in Asia, Latin America and Africa

How to Choose a Payment Services Provider

The first thing you need to do to start monetizing your products in an exotic country is to select a supplier of payment services. For any project that has previously operated in just one market, it is important to understand that the tariffs charged by payment service suppliers are by no means the main criterion when making your choice, as your payment partner will play a key role in your business. To get started:

  1. Analyze which specific markets the company will be entering and the key targets it aims to achieve in these markets;
  2. Decide where the legal structure will be incorporated. A startup is unlikely to be able to decide on a legal structure by itself, as it lacks detailed knowledge of all the countries concerned and their tax systems. The optimal solutions should, therefore, be suggested by a provider.

These two steps will significantly narrow down the list of suitable payment services. Only then, in stage three, should one begin negotiating with specific payment system providers, paying due attention to their tariffs and the finer points of working with them.

The best deal will definitely be bank cards from international payment systems (their tariffs are publicly available and completely transparent). But in regions where they are not popular or are used alongside alternative means of payment, it is important to offer people tools they are familiar with. In this golden age of cross- border commerce, the absence of a familiar payment method could deter a customer or drive him straight into the hands of a competitor.

Acquiring by alternative means of payment that are popular in exotic countries is more expensive (operators used to charge commissions of 40-50%, but these are now in the 4-10% range) and their operating costs are higher, because they have their own user base and often have few or no rivals, which means they are in no hurry to cut the cost of their services.

The most promising alternative methods today are mobile operators and social networks or me ...


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