Credit Card Processing

International Credit Card Processing

by

July 11, 2018

If you run an ecommerce website or another type of international business, you’re probably taking payments from people all over the world. If that’s the case, you need to know what your payment provider is charging you.

We’ll break down the fees you’ll need to pay for taking payments in different currencies.

In this article, we focus on popular “flat rate” payment providers in the US including Braintree, Authorize.net, PayPal, Stripe, and more. In some cases, it may be less expensive to take international payments with an interchange-plus processor.

Note that this article applies to businesses located in the United States who take occasional international payments. If most of your transactions are from overseas customers, you’ll need a high-risk merchant account.


International Payments

First, let’s define what we mean by an international payment. It’s a payment that you take from a customer in a currency other than US dollars.

British Pound

This will normally be through your website or via an invoice you send. Many processors allow you to take international payments, letting the customer pay in their home currency and you collect your money in US dollars.

Costs with Flat Rate Processors

The following costs are accurate as of 2017 for popular flat rate processors including Amazon Payments, Authorize.Net, Braintree, PayPal, Shopify, and Stripe. Remember that published costs may vary from your actual costs, so this is an estimate only.

Related Article: Is Flat Rate Credit Card Processing a Good Choice?


Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments charges the following:

  • Account setup: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Domestic transactions: 2.9% of transaction amount + 30c
  • International transactions: An additional 1% of the transaction amount
  • Total cost of international transactions: 3.9% of transaction amount + 30c

Authorize.Net

Authorize.net charges the following:

  • Account setup: $49
  • Monthly fee: $25
  • Domestic transactions: 2.9% of transaction amount + 30c
  • International transactions: An additional 1.5% of the transaction amount
  • Total cost of international transactions: 4.4% of transaction amount + 30c

Braintree

Braintree charges the following:

  • Account setup: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Domestic transactions: 2.9% of transaction amount + 30c
  • International transactions: An additional 1% of the transaction amount (no foreign exchange fees and no cross-border fees on European card transactions processed via PayPal)
  • Total cost of international transactions: 3.9% of transaction amount + 30c

*Braintree will currently process your first $50,000 of payments for free.

PayPal

PayPal charges the following:

  • Account setup: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Domestic transactions: 2.9% of transaction amount + 30c
  • International transactions: An additional 1% of the transaction amount plus a fixed fee depending on the currency you’re accepting (e.g. 0.35 euros, 0.20 pounds sterling).
  • There’s an additional 2.5% charge for converting foreign currencies to US dollars.
  • Total cost of international transactions: 3.9% of transaction amount + 30c + 2.5% currency exchange fee
  • PayPal also sets its own exchange rates which are not as favorable as open market exchange rates (they are typically around 2% worse).

Shopify Payments

You will need to have a Shopify store to accept Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments charges the following:

  • Account setup: $0
  • Monthly fee: No specific fee, but you will need a Shopify plan (which covers your ecommerce store and hosting; these range between $29 – $179)
  • Domestic transaction fees depend on your shopify plan:
  • Basic Shopify: 2.9% of transaction amount + 30c
  • Shopify: 2.6% of transaction amount + 30c
  • Advanced Shopify: 2.4% of transaction amount + 30c
  • International transactions: No additional fees. Only available for Canada, the UK, and Australia.
  • Total cost of international transactions: The same as domestic transactions.

Stripe

Stripe charges the following:

  • Account setup: $0
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Domestic transactions: 2.9% of transaction amount + 30c
  • International transactions: No additional fee

Calculating Your Cost

You can use the above numbers to calculate the rough costs of accepting an international payment. Remember that the transaction fee applies to the individual transaction, but you’ll still want to take into account any monthly or annual fees to get the most accurate picture of cost.

Example 1:

Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction, with no additional fee for international transactions and no monthly fee. You can take the total sale and determine your cost from the transaction fee. If you sell an item for $100, Stripe will charge $3.20 (100 x 0.029 + 0.30).

Example 2:

Authorize.Net charges 2.9% + 30 cents as a base cost, with an additional 1.5% for international transactions, and a $25 monthly fee. That brings the per-transaction cost of an international transaction to 4.4% + 30 cents. If you sell an item for $100, Authorize.Net will charge $4.70 (100 x 0.044 + 0.30). Additionally, you should include the monthly fee for each transaction, which you can find by dividing the monthly fee by your total number of transactions. If you only have 5 transactions in a month, you’ll need to add $5 when calculating how much each transaction cost. If you have 500 transactions, you’ll only need to add 5 cents.

A note on Authorize.Net

The costs listed are for accounts directly through Authorize.Net, with the company acting as both your processor and your gateway. It’s also possible to use Authorize.Net only as the gateway and use another company as your processor. In that situation, your pricing may be set by the processor and may differ from the Authorize.Net pricing listed here.

Related article: Who Determines Authorize.Net Rates and Fees?


High Risk Processors

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, if you’re taking more than just an occasional international payment, you’ll need to look into high-risk credit card processors that can serve businesses with large numbers of overseas transactions.

The designation “high risk” is not a reflection on you; it simply means that there are additional challenges to processing the payments and a higher possibility of fraud and other complications.

Other Options

If you’re already accepting credit cards from primarily US customers and just want to take occasional payments from overseas clients, you may be able to do that with your current processor. I suggest contacting them prior to accepting the payment, as that will help reduce the chances that the payment will be flagged as fraudulent.

CardFellow clients that are looking to take an international payment now and then can contact the processor or CardFellow to talk about options.

Don’t have a processor yet? Try CardFellow’s free quote request tool to find out how much you can expect to pay for credit card processing.

TwitterFacebookLinkedIn
Ellen Cunningham

BY Ellen Cunningham

Ellen has a degree in English, which she puts to work every day researching and writing articles, processor reviews, and social media posts. She enjoys the challenge of explaining complex topics - making her a perfect fit for credit card processing - and strongly believes in CardFellow's mission of empowering business owners through education.When she's not busy following the latest industry news, Ellen can be found cycling the beautiful trails of southern New England, narrowly losing at pub quizzes, or practicing her trapeze skills in aerial circus class.

FOUND THIS USEFUL? SHARE THIS!
 

Credit Card Processing exposed

Use the secrets that credit card processors don't want
you to know to drastically lower your credit card
processing fees.

Read Now!
 

You might also like…

American Express Data Security Operating Policy
Mastercard logo
Visa Logo

View all articles

Please join the conversation

Your email address will not be published.