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The growth of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has led to a global revolution, with businesses of all sizes embracing SaaS solutions to drive their operations. As a result, SaaS providers are now catering to customers worldwide. However, accepting payments from international customers in their preferred currencies and payment methods can be a complex challenge. This article elaborates on the importance of global payouts for SaaS platforms and highlights the role of international payment gateways in facilitating cross-border transactions. With the right payment gateway partner, SaaS platforms can successfully navigate global payments and expand their reach in new markets while providing customers with a seamless and secure payment experience for customers worldwide.
The Rise of Global SaaS and the Need for International Payouts
Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, has become a global phenomenon. Today, businesses of all sizes use SaaS solutions to power their operations. SaaS providers are also selling to customers around the world. A 2019 Stripe and Harris Poll survey shows nearly 50% of SaaS companies earned revenue from international markets.
International Payment Gateways
As SaaS goes global, the ability to accept payments from international customers in their local currencies and preferred payment methods becomes crucial. However, managing payments across borders and currencies can be an operational nightmare. International payment gateways help bridge this gap by facilitating cross-border transactions, supporting local payment methods, and enabling SaaS platforms to get paid in foreign currencies.
Tapping into Foreign Markets
The rise of the global SaaS market and the growth of international customers means the need for global payment capabilities will only continue to accelerate. SaaS businesses looking to tap into new geographic markets and reach more customers worldwide must have a strategy for accepting and processing international payments. Without the ability for customers to pay in their local currency using a standard payment method, SaaS companies will struggle to gain traction in foreign markets.
How International Payment Gateways Support SaaS Providers
International payment gateways help SaaS providers overcome the complexity of global payments by:
- Supporting numerous countries, currencies, and local payment methods. This allows SaaS platforms to get paid in their customers’ preferred method and currency.
- Handling foreign exchange rates and currency conversions automatically. This simplifies the process of accepting payments in multiple currencies.
- Managing regulatory compliance for data security and privacy in different countries. This ensures SaaS businesses meet all requirements for operating globally.
- Providing fraud prevention tools to minimize risk from international transactions. This safeguards SaaS platforms from losses due to chargebacks, money laundering, and other fraudulent activities.
- Streamlining the technical integration with a single API. This makes it easy for SaaS companies to enable global payments across their customer base.
- Simplifying reporting and reconciliation of payments from different countries and currencies. This gives SaaS businesses a consolidated view of their global revenue and transactions.
As SaaS platforms scale internationally, the ability to accept various payment methods in multiple currencies becomes essential. International payment gateways are a key enabler of global growth for SaaS businesses. Facilitating cross-border payments, they unlock new markets and help SaaS companies reach more customers worldwide.
Ranking the Top Players: What to Consider
With many international payment gateways to choose from, how do you determine which is the best fit for your SaaS business? There are several factors to evaluate:
Number of Countries and Currencies Supported
If you sell to customers worldwide, you’ll want a gateway that supports as many countries and currencies as possible. Options like Stripe, PayPal, and Adyen help over 100 countries and dozens of currencies. Others like Checkout.com and Payoneer focus on specific high-growth regions. Choose a gateway that aligns with your key target markets.
Pricing varies between flat-rate, interchange-plus, and percentage-based models. Flat-rate is simple but can be expensive at high volumes. Interchange-plus passes on scheme fees with a small markup. Percentage-based is common but can vary between gateways. Consider your business model and transaction values.
Ease of Integration
Look for a gateway with a simple API and SDKs for your platform and languages. Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal are reputed as some of the easiest to integrate. Check if the gateway offers additional tools to speed up development, like pre-built form fields, mobile SDKs, and sample code.
Security and Compliance
Your payment gateway must meet the latest data security and compliance standards in each country and currency you support. Options like Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.Net invest heavily in security and are certified PCI DSS compliant, allowing you to avoid significant development work to meet compliance requirements.
For SaaS businesses, features like recurring billing, invoicing, pricing in local currencies, and more are essential. Check what other capabilities each gateway provides and how well they suit your needs.
Consider the available support level, including documentation, live chat, email, and phone support. As your business scales globally, you’ll want a gateway with robust customer support to help resolve any issues quickly.
Based on these factors, we rank Stripe, PayPal, Adyen, and Braintree as top international payment gateways, with a slight advantage to Stripe for its combination of features, pricing, and ease of use. For specific markets, Checkout.com and Payoneer also make healthy options. Evaluate each based on your priorities and target markets to choose the best solution for your global SaaS business.
Local Payment Methods: Reaching New Customers Where They Are
SaaS platforms must offer familiar and trusted payment options to convert customers to new markets. Local payment methods, like Alipay, WeChat Pay, and Boleto, allow customers to pay using methods they know and prefer. According to a recent report, nearly 50% of customers will abandon a purchase if their preferred payment method isn’t available.
Reach New Audiences
Payment gateways that offer access to popular local payment methods can help SaaS companies reach new audiences and boost international sales. Adyen, Checkout.com, and Payoneer are leaders in this space. They partner with local payment networks to enable platforms to accept dozens of payment methods across Asia, Latin America, and other regions.
For example, by integrating with Adyen, platforms can accept major Chinese payment options like:
- Alipay – China’s most effective mobile payment method with over 1 billion users. Alipay supports payments, remittances, and more via mobile apps.
- WeChat Pay – Over 900 million people use the WeChat app to pay for goods and services. WeChat Pay continues gaining popularity for e-commerce payments and in-store purchases.
- UnionPay – China’s bank card network used by over 7 billion cardholders. UnionPay cards are accepted for online and point-of-sale payments across mainland China.
Case Study – Brazil and Boleto
In Brazil, customers prefer payment methods like Boleto and local bank transfers. Checkout.com and Payoneer both offer Boleto as a payment option for SaaS platforms. Boleto is a popular bank slip method where customers receive a payment slip to pay bills and invoices in cash at physical bank branches. By supporting Boleto, SaaS companies gain access to millions of customers in Brazil who prefer paying with bank slips over cards.
Local payment methods require more effort to integrate and often have higher processing costs. However, offering familiar payment options is essential for SaaS companies seeking a foothold in key markets like China and Latin America.
Local Payment Methods: Reaching New Customers Where They Are
To successfully tap into international markets, SaaS platforms must offer customers the ability to pay using methods they know and trust. Local payment options have become essential to converting buyers in Asia, Latin America, and other regions. According to a recent report, nearly 50% of customers will abandon a purchase if their preferred payment method isn’t available.
International Payment Gateways – Adyen, Checkout, Alipay, WeChat
Payment gateways like Adyen, Checkout.com, and Payoneer provide access to popular local payment methods, enabling SaaS companies to reach new customers worldwide. In China, Alipay and WeChat Pay dominate payments. Alipay holds a 54% market share, while WeChat Pay has 38% of the mobile payments market. Integrating these methods is crucial in gaining customers in China.
Latin America – Boleto and OXXO
In Latin America, options like Boleto and OXXO allow cash-based customers to generate payment vouchers for online purchases. Brazil’s Boleto is used for over 70% of e-commerce transactions. Supporting Boleto and OXXO can open up huge markets for SaaS platforms in Brazil, Mexico, and surrounding countries.
Southeast Asia – GrabPay, GCash, Dana
In Southeast Asia, e-wallets like GrabPay, GCash, and Dana are the preferred payment methods for many. GrabPay holds over 60% of the e-wallet market in Singapore and Malaysia. Enabling these methods helps capture audiences in high-growth SEA markets like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Russie & Europe – Yandez, Qiwi, Sofort
Russia and parts of Europe prefer Yandex Money, Qiwi, and Sofort. In India, Paytm and UPI are the dominant payment methods. Local payment options unlock new customers globally.
For SaaS businesses looking to expand into new international markets, offering preferred local payment methods is non-negotiable. Global payment gateways provide access to the leading options across dozens of countries. By integrating platforms like Alipay, Boleto, GrabPay, and Yandex Money, SaaS companies can reach more customers, increase conversion rates, and accelerate global growth. Local payments drive local sales, so prioritize them in your international expansion efforts.
Fraud Prevention: Safeguarding Your Global Payments
As SaaS companies accept payments from around the world, the risk of fraud increases significantly. Issues like chargebacks, identity theft, and money laundering must be addressed to protect your business and customers. Advanced payment gateways offer sophisticated fraud prevention tools that leverage machine learning, 3D Secure authentication, velocity monitoring, and more.
Leaders in Fraud Prevention and Compliance – Stripe, Braintree, and Authorize
Stripe, Braintree, and Authorize.Net are leaders in fraud prevention and compliance for global payments. Their solutions help businesses minimize risk when scaling internationally. For example, Stripe Radar uses machine learning to analyze hundreds of fraud signals and detect suspicious activity in real-time. It can block fraudulent transactions while allowing legitimate payments to process, reducing false positives.
Braintree, a PayPal service, offers robust fraud tools like device fingerprinting, 3D Secure, CVV verification, and address verification. Its machine-learning models analyze over 70 billion transactions annually to improve fraud detection accuracy. Braintree also provides 24/7 fraud monitoring and manual review of high-risk transactions.
Authorize.Net Anti-Fraud Innovations
Authorize.Net, one of the oldest payment gateways, uses a multi-layered fraud detection system that includes neural networks, heuristic rules, and manual review. It monitors critical fraud indicators like transaction amount, number of transactions, location, and more. Authorize.Net also verifies customer information against international databases to authenticate identities in real-time.
Advanced Fraud Prevention Minimizes Losses
With global payments, SaaS businesses should expect a higher fraud rate, often 3-5 times that of domestic transactions. However, choosing a payment gateway with advanced fraud prevention capabilities can help minimize losses while allowing legitimate transactions to process efficiently. Their machine-learning models get smarter over time as more data is analyzed, enabling them to detect new fraud patterns quickly.
Fraud tools come at a cost through higher transaction fees or monthly gateway subscriptions. But the cost of fraud is far higher if left unaddressed. For SaaS companies selling globally, robust fraud prevention is essential to safeguarding your business and providing customers with a secure buying experience regardless of location or payment method.
The Future of International Payments
Global payments are evolving at a rapid pace. Cross-border e-commerce and SaaS continue to grow quickly, fueled by increasing internet access and global connectivity. According to recent estimates, the international payments industry will reach $2.9 trillion in revenue by 2023.
Digital Wallets, Bank Transfers, and Cryptocurrency
Emerging payment methods like digital wallets, bank transfers, and cryptocurrency enable more global transactions. Digital wallets, in particular, are gaining mainstream adoption, especially in Asia and other developing regions. The rise of real-time payments also allows for faster fund transfers across borders. These new payment types provide more options for customers to pay internationally and improve the overall customer experience.
International Data Security and Compliance Requirements
At the same time, data security and compliance requirements are tightening in the payments industry. Regulations like PSD2 in Europe, GDPR globally, and similar laws elsewhere aim to protect consumer data and reduce fraud. Payment gateways must invest heavily to meet these enhanced standards and avoid significant compliance violations. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping to improve fraud detection and risk analysis.
Advancement in Payment Gateways
Payment gateways are innovating quickly to support new payment methods, strengthen data security, and meet regulatory requirements worldwide. The future will see continued advancement in areas like:
- Omnichannel payments: Customers expect to pay however they like, whether on a website, mobile app, or in person. Payment gateways need to power seamless payments across all channels.
- Faster transactions: Real-time payments and faster settlement times will become the norm. Payment gateways must facilitate quick, low-cost global transfers.
- Enhanced security: AI, biometrics, tokenization, and other technologies will improve fraud prevention and data protection. Payment gateways need to adopt the latest security innovations.
- Regulatory compliance: Requirements will vary in different countries and regions. Payment gateways must stay current with all relevant laws and guidelines to avoid penalties.
- Emerging payments: Cryptocurrency, mobile wallets, and other new payment types will gain more traction globally. Payment gateways need to support these emerging methods, especially in developing markets.
The future is bright for businesses looking to access new global markets and reach more customers worldwide. International payment gateways will continue enabling and powering global growth through secure, compliant, and innovative payment solutions. SaaS platforms and other companies can thrive internationally with the right payment gateway partner.
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