These days, any e-commerce offering has international potential: if customers from other nations are able to complete their purchase, the business is operating “globally.” But there’s much more that a subscription business can and should do to foster and grow its international market. Supporting international currencies and payment methods, and complying with different countries’ tax requirements are critical to serving a global audience. Subscribers also expect a company’s online presence to be localized, especially checkout and payment pages.

Having these elements in place can vastly improve the user experience and increase conversions, but it can be a challenge if you don’t have the right subscription management platform. Recurly supports our customers’ global expansion in a variety of ways.

Mobile access

In many parts of the world, mobile access and commerce are a driving force in emerging economies where many consumers are more likely to have a smartphone or a feature-phone than they are to have a desktop or laptop computer. In Asia Pacific, over half (53%) of connected consumers using their mobile phones to pay for goods or services, in comparison to 33% in North America and 35% in Europe, according to TNS Global. Mainland China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing market for proximity mobile payments (i.e., mobile wallets such as Apple Pay), with 40% of Chinese consumers using new payment methods.

Recurly is focused on providing the best tools to create a frictionless checkout experience, with the mobile user top of mind. Our recent enhancements allow subscription businesses to build a seamless flow, simply and elegantly.

Data privacy compliance

Different countries also have different mandates and guidelines regarding data privacy and how customer information is handled. For example, the European Union has a new compliance standard titled the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which imposes new rules and regulations regarding data privacy. These changes impact businesses which operate in the EU and US-based merchants with personal data belonging to EU residents.

You’ll want to be familiar with any and all privacy and compliance regulations in force in any country or region that you intend to do business. Recurly is GDPR compliant, and we’ve been proactively reaching out to all our EU merchants to ensure the required Data Processing Agreement (DPA) is in place and executed. To learn more, read our blog.

Localized languages

Providing content to subscribers and prospects in their preferred language makes them feel vastly more welcome and wanted. Recurly supports 11 different languages and 22 dialects in customer emails and checkout pages. Recurly also provides localized checkout pages based on the location of the customer’s browser and the primary language associated with that location.

Tax compliance

The tax man always cometh, and compliance with multiple jurisdictions’ and countries’ taxation rules can be quite convoluted. Increasing this complexity, some jurisdictions have additional rules for taxing digital services. Dubbed the “Netflix tax,” it began appearing in some U.S. cities (notably Chicago) in 2015 and then spread to an increasing number of cities and states across the country.

Similar cross-border taxes on digital services are being adopted around the globe, in such places as Australia, New Zealand, and Russia. For Recurly customers, our accurate, automated and streamlined tax solutions are there to assist them in meeting these complex tax requirements.

Fortunately, Recurly is a certified partner for Avalara AvaTax, allowing Recurly customers to directly integrate their Avalara AvaTax account with their Recurly site. This integration automates a merchant’s sales tax process and includes precise tax rates (with “rooftop-level accuracy” down to the parcel), taxability rules, jurisdiction-source rules, detailed tax reporting, and other Avalara add-on services.

Payment gateways and payment methods

In addition to integrations with over a dozen payment gateways, we’ve partnered with Adyen, a leading global payments company. Adyen supports transactions via credit and debit cards along with over 50 other payment methods that are used in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Potential subscribers want to be able to pay using the payment type they prefer. In North America, credit and debit cards are the preferred method but this is not the case in much of the rest of the world.

Recurly’s integration with Adyen makes it easy for subscription businesses to accept the local payment methods used and preferred in different parts of the world.  Providing this option to prospects increases conversions and customer satisfaction. Read more about this integration here.


In addition to localized payment methods, supporting international currencies is a key way to let subscribers and prospects know that you want and value their business. You never know where the next e-commerce boom may occur, so it’s best to be prepared. Recurly supports nearly 30 different currencies, including payments in Japanese YenSouth African Rand, Singapore Dollar, in addition to myriad more international currencies. We’re always adding additional payment methods as the market demands. To learn more, visit our documentation page.

Update: as of August 2020, Recurly supports over 140 currencies.

Offering a superior subscriber experience

Subscription businesses seeking to expand globally need to offer a superior subscriber experience. They do this by ensuring that the process of signing up and paying for your subscription product or service is streamlined and optimized. By speaking to subscribers in their preferred language. And by offering the payment methods international subscribers want to use. This is how you win in the global realm.

Want to learn more? Talk to a Recurly expert at (844) 732-8759 or sign up for a demo below.