PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Airwallex and Woo Team to Simplify Cross-Border eCommerce

Woo eCommerce app

Payments platform Airwallex has launched a partnership with eCommerce platform Woo.

The collaboration makes Airwallex an official payment extension of Woo, letting the platform’s 3.5 million stores accept cross-border payments via cards, digital wallets and local payment methods within minutes, the companies said in Wednesday (Dec. 13) press release.

“Cross-border payment collection is an important part of the puzzle for merchants with global ambitions,” Airwallex SVP, Strategic Partnerships and EGM, Americas Ravi Adusumilli said in the release.

“But too often, inefficient cross-border payments are slowing down growth into new geographies … By removing friction, reducing fees and delays associated with cross-border payments, we enhance the shopping experience and deepen shoppers’ relationships with Woo and its merchants.”

And Web Griebel, Woo’s head of payment partnerships, added that the integration gives merchants “the option to plug in and instantly accept payments from customers anywhere in the world,” and thus “accelerate their international expansion plans.”

PYMNTS spoke earlier this year with Pranav Sood, EMEA executive GM at Airwallex, about the pressures facing international merchants dealing with outdated payments infrastructure and solutions.

The situation has put added cost pressures on businesses: transactional costs, like foreign exchange (FX) conversion fees, interchange and cross-border transaction fees, as well as operational costs related to reconciliation, compliance and regulatory requirements.

The focus during the pandemic, Sood told PYMNTS, “was very much on top-line and how to drive growth and expansion. Fast forward to 2023 and we’re in a different environment where cost considerations are now top of the agenda.”

Further complicating things is the fact that when like-for-like settlements are missing, merchants are forced to collect funds in a particular currency and convert it into a different settlement currency within their payment processing infrastructure.

“You end up losing somewhere between 2% and 4% often per transaction in FX conversion fees,” he told PYMNTS.

Another challenge facing international merchants face has to do with online conversion rates, Sood said, noting that the lack of preferred payment methods or currencies, a complex and confusing checkout process and a dearth of trust in the checkout journey as some of the key factors leading to cart abandonment. Unexpected fees can make things even worse.

“It can really throw a buyer off if they thought they were going to pay one thing and then they get to checkout and the amount that they’re being charged is much higher,” Sood said.