is chief executive
ofcer, director and
co-founder of First
Andrea has extensive
experience of inter-
and domestic card
payment and risk
Tricia Lines Hill
is the VP of market-
ing and corporate
First Atlantic Com-
merce. She has over
15 years’ experience
in global market-
ing and corporate
and eight years in
the credit card
WHERE WoULD yoUR business be in today’s global market if you could not support the way consumers wish to pay? over the past 10 years, businesses have evolved from post ofce collection invoices and ‘the cheque is in the mail’ invoice payments to sophisticated online payment solutions involving wire transfers, credit cards, ACH, e-cheques, money transfer serv-ices and digital cash solutions.
Consumers are much more likely to purchase from a website that communicates in their language and local currency. And with millions of people accessing the internet in a language other than Eng-lish, website localisation and translation is clearly important in expanding and improving sales. So is
Gaming operators know that if they want to target a specifc consumer population, they have to ofer regional games in foreign languages and online payment options in the currencies of the players’ jurisdiction.
Typically, in the past, it was difcult to secure regional or domestic payment solutions in order to market to expatriate consumer pockets, but the internet has changed the landscape by allowing merchants to connect and service consumers from all over the globe regardless of their operational jurisdiction.
Understanding local money transfer regulations (both in and out) in target markets is critical to ensuring you are able to support the payment needs of consumers in those markets.
Expat workers in traditional markets
As the internet gaming industry expands into emerg-ing markets, and operators increasingly focus on pay-ment and language options to attract new consum-ers, they need to take a serious look at whether they are providing the right payment options for their traditional markets. Interestingly, immigrant groups within established markets are ofen overlooked.
“Friendly fraud cannot
be completely prevented”
According to a UN population estimate, the US has the largest number of immigrants, at 38.4 million in 2005, accounting for 12.9% of the total population. The US emigrants constituted about 0.8% of the total population. The top ten immigrant sourcing countries for the US at the end of 2005 were Mexico, Philip-pines, Germany, India, China, Vietnam, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador and the UK. The majority of immigrants are from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
According to the International Association of Global Money Transfer Networks, the US is also the world’s largest outward payment remittance market. The total amount of outward remittance was US$42.2bn, or 0.3% of the country’s GDP in 2006. This means that the expatriate markets are needing payment and remittance solutions that are convenient, secure and reliable.
In recent years, with increased globalisation of economies, opportunities for expats have increased substantially. Companies in developed nations are looking for more skilled workers at lower costs to reduce their employee cost; a need met by the expat workers. The recent credit crisis is laying signifcant pressure on US companies to reduce their costs, there-by leading to increased skilled labour force sourcing.
We have seen that even in English-speaking coun-tries, a signifcant percentage of immigrant groups worldwide are searching the internet in their native language, rather than the language of their adopted nation. As well, they would like to be able to spend money online in their local currency, rather than their adopted country base currency. The pressure to remit money home for family maintenance needs remains very strong in second- and third-world countries.
For instance, merchants may think that their Euro-pean business only needs payment solutions in euros and pounds sterling. However, they must consider the large expatriate communities within the European market. Take the Indian consumer market in London, for example. The ability for merchants to process Indian rupees credit card transactions may win them the consumer sale, however remitting back to this same cardholder will be a challenge for the mer-chant if they have not thought through or incorporated a localised remittance serv-ice that allows their Indian consumer to receive local funds in rupees. Remit2India is a product available for the Indian com-munities around the world (along with