Cross Border Commerce

The Internet’s Borderless Lens?

Borders, shmorders. When it comes to the internet superhighway, cross-border business has inherently become increasingly commonplace as it’s become easier to connect globally. For the September edition of the X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™, PYMNTS spoke with Shannon Scott, director of risk and payments at uShip, about how the web revolutionized international trade, what friction still exists and what’s coming next. Plus, we’ve got a directory of more than 100 major players in the space.

The internet has changed almost every facet of daily life, and that’s especially true for international trade. The web has connected buyers and sellers looking to do business around the globe, giving companies the tools and abilities to process most of these transactions.

Shannon Scott, director of risk and payments at uShip, believes that the rise of the internet has had the largest impact of any technological development when it comes to cross-border shipping and receiving.

PYMNTS recently caught up with Scott for the September X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ cover story to discuss the impact the internet has had (and continues to have) on the industry and what she sees coming into port — both figuratively and literally — in the future.

Here’s a preview:

Scott noted that connectivity has had a major effect not just on our social lives but on the business world as well. Now that consumers are connected with nearly every corner of the globe, they expect to order and pay for goods as quickly and simply as they can call a faraway loved one.

“Barriers are being broken by the internet in general,” Scott said. “[The web] gives people access to other parts of the world that they weren’t able to do business in before … We’re able to access different markets, like Brazil, with never having to leave Austin, Texas, or Amsterdam.”

Platforms like uShip work to use those tools to make trade easier, but not all obstacles are easy to overcome. Consumers can still experience resistance when dealing with retailers whose websites are in a foreign language or those that accept only currency they do not typically use. That friction can cause customers to become frustrated or disinterested and abandon their transactions.

To combat that, Scott and her team often partner with local payment processors. That way, customers can communicate with merchants without having to overcome a language barrier and can pay for transactions using their native currency. Currently, the company offers 19 different localized currencies available in more than 130 countries around the world.

“I think it’s challenging being in different markets globally, but luckily, we’ve got a lot of good vendors in place that help us navigate those waters,” Scott said.

Around The X-Border Commerce World

Many companies in the cross-border space recently announced plans to grow their foreign customer bases through expansion or acquisition.

For example, Alibaba has its eye trained on international expansion, as the company announced it acquired Indian online marketplace ShopClues and is reportedly in talks to make its mobile wallet available in the U.K.

Meanwhile, after receiving its payment processing license in Australia, Worldpay announced its Down Under expansion. Coinify also looked to expand by raising $4 million during a Series A round of investing to back its global expansion plan.

The September X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ also features the latest news and analysis and contains profiles of more than 100 global payment service providers, including six new additions to the Tracker.

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To download the September edition of the PYMNTS X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™, click the button below.

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About The Tracker

The PYMNTS X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ is the framework for evaluating players in the cross-border payments landscape, and the quarterly index tests the readiness of the companies to serve a global audience.

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