Global customers expect to make online payments in their local currencies. If they can't, the result is clunky experiences for consumers and missed opportunities for merchants.

Donald Kasdon, founder at T1 Payments

Donald Kasdon, founder at T1 Payments

The holidays are behind us and this year’s historic shopping season demonstrated the growing importance of ecommerce. Key findings from Mastercard’s recent SpendingPulse report highlight the dramatic shift toward online shopping, with ecommerce accounting for nearly 20% of overall retail sales this year, compared to 13% in 2019. As retailers and ecommerce merchants move into the new year, one thing is clear: Ecommerce is here to stay.

And this trend extends beyond the United States. According to a recent analysis from Shopify, experts project retail ecommerce sales in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to be greater than the rest of the world combined by 2023. As commerce becomes increasingly borderless, retailers and ecommerce merchants will need to look beyond the United States to achieve continued growth.

However, most domestic payments processors allow merchants to process only in U.S. dollars. When ecommerce organizations look to capitalize on growing foreign markets and expand outside of the United States, this limitation inevitably hampers their efforts because they can’t accept multiple forms of currencies across the world.


This is because global customers expect to transact in their local currencies online. If retailers don’t offer local-currency processing, that leads to clunky experiences for consumers and missed opportunities for merchants.

If your business is on the fence about upgrading to a global payment partner, here are just a few additional benefits that come with processing payments in your customer’s local currency:

  • Lower shopping cart abandonment: If you do not process international credit card transactions in your customers’ local currency, you will have a higher rate of shopping cart abandonment because shoppers cannot quickly figure out how much they are paying for your goods services. Allowing customers to check out in their local currency not only leads to reduced shopping cart abandonment but also increased website conversions.
  • Reduce refunds and chargebacks: Customers want the total payment amount upon checkout to be clear and recognizable. Displaying charges in your customers’ local currency prevents any ambiguity relating to the price of your goods or services. By offering clear and concise prices, merchants can reduce refunds and chargebacks because their customers know exactly what they’re paying, which means they’re less likely to dispute the charge.
  • Reduce customer support efforts: If the credit card payment is processed in your customer’s local currency, they will not be charged international transaction fees by their card issuing bank. This saves them money and reduces your customer support efforts when explaining that it is not a charge made by your business but rather a fee from the bank that issued their credit card.
  • Lower credit card decline rate: Credit card payments processed in a currency other than the one used to make the payment have a higher decline rate than others. That’s because card-issuing banks may view the transactions as potential fraud. Such declined payments take away from seamless checkout experiences because it adds an extra step to the buyer’s journey.

Shifting consumers have emphasized speed. Customers don’t want to wait in lines and expect speedy shipping options no matter the cost. The same is true for their online checkout experiences. If your customers cannot make a purchase promptly, they may move on to a competitor that offers a more seamless online checkout experience. Localizing global currencies is one way to help solve this problem.

With ecommerce continuing to grow, don’t let global currencies (or a lack thereof) slow down your global growth. Seek out a partner that has the expertise to process transactions no matter where your customers live.


T1 Payments offers high-risk merchant processing services.