Acquiring new subscribers and revenue streams are top priorities for subscription brands across the globe. As you look toward expanding your global footprint, you should consider the opportunities and the unique challenges that come with cross-border expansion.

This article will help you chart your course with a collection of informative resources for global payment and subscription success. 

Reduce friction by enabling subscribers to pay how they want

A key tenet of an excellent user experience is offering convenient, flexible, and frictionless payments. 

Alternative Payment Methods (APMs), such as digital wallets (PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Venmo come to mind), are projected to comprise 47% of global ecommerce payments in 2022. In the same time period, credit card usage will drop from 23% to 17%. Subscribers want the flexibility to choose their preferred payment method, including options like SEPA, Bacs, and BECS, since credit cards aren’t always the preferred payment option outside the US.

Presenting prices and accepting payment in the local currency is crucial to achieving high customer conversion and transaction success rates. Letting consumers pay in the way they want can be the difference between acquiring a valuable new subscriber or turning one away.

Did you know that nearly 30% of international consumers will abandon a purchase if the product is priced only in US dollars, and 92% of online customers prefer to buy in their local currency?

According to a study by GoCardless, subscribers who can pay the way they want to will be more satisfied. That same study shows that a third of consumers around the world say they are likely to choose direct debit to pay for online subscriptions. Payment preferences also vary across generations; as an example, just 39% of Gen Z consumers transact online using credit cards, instead preferring APMs like Venmo and Apple Pay

Expand with ease into Brazil and Mexico

Many merchants desire to expand into Brazil and Mexico. But the challenges in these regions are unique.

According to a report from Zion Market Research, global cross-border B2C ecommerce will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.4% between 2019 and 2027. According to E-Commerce Brasil, subscriptions have become increasingly popular in Brazil: the subscription economy accounts for over R$1 billion in transactions every year. However, around 70% of cards in Brazil aren’t authorized for international transactions, which means merchants without an on-the-ground Brazilian presence experience extremely high decline rates. 

Recurly’s partnership with Adyen and PrimieroPay enables merchants to process payments in Brazil with a better success rate, without having to create a local entity in Brazil or calculate VAT. 

With PrimerioPay you can:

  • Reach over 70% of the population that only pays with local payment methods, without the heavy costs of operating a local entity.

  • Decrease in-market payment decline rates—from 70% to 10%—boosting customer acquisition rates. 

We know that potential customers want to pay in their local currency, and we appreciate that Recurly supports so many global currencies and payment methods.

Maayan Kotler, Vice President of MarketingTailor Brands

The Field Guide to Global Expansion for Subscription Buisness cover

Go local with your content 

Just as consumers expect to pay the way they want, they also expect marketing communications and checkout pages to be in their local language, too. Localizing content can help boost conversions significantly.

By supporting commerce in 195 countries and more than 140 currencies, Recurly enables you to provide a localized billing experience as you expand to new regions, including checkout flows and invoices, and ongoing subscriber communications such as purchase confirmation emails and dunning messages. 

Choose the right payment gateway 

It’s a risky undertaking to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to a payment gateway. If you’re only using a single gateway, you won’t be able to leverage custom gateway routing and achieve higher acceptance rates or lower processing costs. You also won’t get full currency and payment method support from a single gateway, and reconciliation from different regions can prove difficult as well. 

Check out these 15 critical questions to ask when evaluating a payment gateway

Payment gateway

Optimize global payments by integrating with multiple payment gateways and route transactions based on transaction data, such as location or payment method. Using custom gateway routing provides you unlimited flexibility in routing payments—either the initial transaction or subsequent renewal transactions—to a specific gateway. This provides you the benefits a certain gateway may offer for specific types of transactions based on geolocation or for specific products.  

Recommended reading: The modern guide to payment gateways and subscription billing

Ensure compliance with tax laws 

The location of your business, its subscribers, and your employees, along with the type of product(s) or service(s) being sold all impact tax compliance mandates. Businesses with an international customer base or those seeking to expand globally need additional features and functionality to manage the added complexity of international tax rules.

You need to calculate taxes on all invoices, including credits, subscription changes, and refunds. With ecommerce taxation rules constantly evolving, companies trying to calculate taxes on their own could quickly be overwhelmed. That’s where Recurly comes in.

Recurly provides you with a variety of solutions to calculate taxes:

  • For merchants just getting started with Recurly, Recurly’s built-in taxation functionality is a great place to start. While it doesn’t support every geography or use case, Recurly Taxes can help you calculate basic rates, configure taxable regions at the country and state/province level, configure taxable plans, tax based on customers’ physical or billing address, and more.

  • If your needs are more complex in nature—common for most global businesses and those operating at scale—Recurly integrates with both Avalara and Vertex, two leaders in the tax calculation and remittance space. By using Avalara or Vertex, you’ll unlock many more taxable regions, advanced tax reporting, more complex tax code mapping, and the ability to set custom rules based on your unique needs.  

Recommended reading: Expanding your subscription business globally

Lock things down with world-class security

Recurly is PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant, the highest level of security a business can offer. Cardholder data is sent directly to Recurly to minimize risk to your business. Recurly meets or exceeds all industry-standard payment security practices to protect you and your customers.

“When we chose Recurly as our subscription management and billing platform, we were looking for a lean and flexible solution, something that would be able to grow with us over time, and that works worldwide. With Recurly, we have a partner that works everywhere around the world and is flexible to work with.”

Pascal van Opzeeland, Chief Executive OfficerUserlike

Safeguard against fraud 

Fraud losses worldwide are projected to rise to $35.67 billion in five years and $40.63 billion in 10 years according to The Nilson Report.

To help safeguard your business and protect your revenue, Recurly includes an integrated, comprehensive fraud prevention solution. By using Recurly Fraud Management, you can:

  • Protect your business with the power of Kount, integrated with Recurly

  • Reduce the complexity of combating fraud with ‘set and forget’ configurations, automatically denying those transactions that meet the criteria set

  • Eliminate manual reviews, reducing operational and personnel costs

  • Safeguard profit by minimizing chargebacks and by preventing e-commerce fraud and unauthorized account creation

  • Accept more orders with confidence, knowing automated processes are at work to protect their business

Recurly Fraud Management gives you the power to automatically identify and address fraudulent transactions. Subscription businesses safeguard their profit by minimizing chargebacks and preventing card-not-present, account takeover, and account creation fraud.

Learn more about Recurly’s fraud capabilities in this helpful data sheet.

Wrap up

Whether close to home or across borders, delivering a fantastic user experience is at the core of customer acquisition and retention success. Offering a frictionless experience for your customers will enable you to boost audience acquisition rates, expand into international markets, and uncover monetization opportunities as your business continues evolving.