Across the Board

Blog on e-business and online payments.

10 Payment Methods For Global E-Businesses

global-payment-methodsEvery web business that’s seriously thinking about the global market, should consider accepting payments using most well-known global payment methods. If you want to sell around the globe, let me introduce you to a list of absolutely must-have payment methods.

By the way – it’s always better to implement both: these global payment methods, as well as local ones (those which are popular on domestic markets). But that’s a topic for another blog post, which is coming soon.

For now let me introduce to you a list of 10 global payment methods, that you should really consider implementing on your e-commerce website.

1. Visa and MasterCard cards

I suppose that credit/debit cards by these brands don’t need any introduction. They are everywhere. In some countries online payments through such cards are extremely popular, in some others not so much. However, that’s still… the most popular online payment method around the world. Your customers should be able to pay for your services through this payment method.

2. Maestro cards

Maestro debit card, owned by MasterCard is not as popular as Visa or MasterCard, but still… on some markets (especially on European markets, in Brazil, or Australia) lots of people own this card. Worth to have on your website, especially if you are going to sell in Europe.

3. PayPal

The most popular alternative payment method in the world (at least in my opinion). In some countries it’s really popular when it comes to online purchases (e.g. United States or Germany), in some countries it’s not (e.g. in the CEE region). Some of the people love this system, others simply hate it. Worth to have as an alternative to “typical online payment methods”, specifically if you have a not so well-known website, because if you are not well known not many people are willing to leave their credit card data.

4. American Express cards

Very popular payment card. Especially in North America. If you are going to sell in an American market – that’s the must-have payment method for you. What’s really great in this card anyway? They are not as restricted when it comes to amounts (in most cases you will be able to process bigger amounts at once from customers with Amex cards, than from customers with any other cards).

5. Bank transfer

There is one huge profit of accepting bank transfers in your e-commerce business: everyone has a bank account, so anyone could make a wire transfer. However, there is a huge disadvantage of this payment method: if you want to sell globally, it has to work manually (so you are providing your bank account number on your website and waiting for a transfer). That’s one of the most popular payment method around the world (indisputably the most popular one in some countries). Nonetheless most  countries have their own dedicated systems for bank transfers in e-commerce (such as iDEAL in the Netherlands, GiroPay in Germany, pay-by-link transfers in Poland, etc). So if you don’t want to implement each of these payment systems separately – simply provide your bank account number on your website.

6. JCB cards

Quite a popular credit/debit card. Extremely prominent in some Asian markets (Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and especially in Japan), quite popular in others (Luxembourg, United States) and completely unknown on the others. Worth considering having this payment method if you want to sell in North America or Asia (definitely a must-have in Japan).

7. (China) UnionPay

One of the biggest card brand in the world right now, with the biggest number of issued cards at current time (obviously because of the number of card users in China). Definitely essential if you want to sell in Asia (especially in China). Worth to have on the other markets as well, because the popularity of this card is still growing.

8. Direct debits

There is one bad thing regarding direct debits… in each country it works completely differently. In some countries it works automatically, in the others – not really. It’s available around the globe, but unfortunately most countries have their own regulations for processing this payment method. That’s why if you want to sell through direct debits in several countries – in most cases – you will need to implement direct debit methods for each of these countries separately. Highly recommended e.g. in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. In the rest of the countries – you will need to check how it works there and see if it’s worth trying to implement it on your website.

9. Diners Club cards

Diners Club is the next well recognized worldwide card brand. Owned by Discover Financial Services it’s quite popular in certain countries (such as North American countries, Germany, UK) and in some specific industries (travel, entertainment). If you want to sell, let’s say in the USA, or you have a web business that sells something related to travel – worth a mention.

10. Sofortbanking

Quite an interesting payment method. Currently it works in 10 or 11 countries. Really a valuable recommendation if you want to sell your services in some European countries (because of its popularity e.g. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands). However I wouldn’t recommend this payment method if you want to sell in other countries (for example – it doesn’t have a good opinion in Poland). In other (which are not supported by them) it’s simply not known by anyone, so it’s better not to show them this payment method at all.

With this new found information, find the right payment provider for you (which has all these payment methods). If you need more information of have questions, contact us! Good luck in going global with your business!



Experienced executive, people-oriented leader, doer, entrepreneur. CEO at PayLane. Business educator on Also on Twitter.

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