Making cross-border payments count

Aug 04 2020 | PayPal editorial staff

What if you could boost sales without changing your products or your website?

Payment methods matter more than you might think.

As highlighted in the 2020 PayPal Borderless Commerce Report, the way people shop online is different in every country, especially when it comes to payment methods. Keeping up with local nuances in shopper payment behavior can be a lot to keep track of. This begs the question of how your business can cater to everyone’s preferences? And whether it is worth the effort?

Research into online consumer behavior suggests that it is. In a recent study, one in five shoppers said they would abandon a cross-border purchase if their preferred payment methods were not available. 1 And 34% of respondents felt more incentivized to buy from a store outside their home country if prices were shown in their local currency.1 Moreover, digital wallets and other alternative payment methods are growing in popularity, especially among younger shoppers.

Given the somewhat impersonal nature of online retail, it’s not surprising that familiarity inspires confidence. Shoppers are significantly more likely to buy abroad if they can do so in the currency they’re accustomed to, using payment options they already know and trust.
 

Get paid with one click. Or is it a tap?

It’s not just payment options that make a difference. The primary devices used for shopping also vary from region to region and these need to be considered. India and China, for example, prefer apps and mobile friendly websites with 84% of their cross-border purchases coming from smartphones.1 French shoppers, on the other hand, do most of their buying via desktop.1
 

Cross-border customer service

Customer service is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when considering cross-border payments, but it is extremely important when dealing with customers from around the globe. In fact, one in three shoppers say that having customer support in their language is a driver on their decision to buy.1

TIP: Choose a cross-border payment partner that can provide support to all your customers, with customer support in more than a dozen languages.
 

Cross-border commerce doesn’t have to be complex

There’s clearly a lot to think about with cross-border payments but thankfully you don’t have to. With the right partner, you can do business in more than 100 currencies and 200 countries using a single, simple payment solution. PayPal is one of the world’s largest online payment platform with 300 million active users and multiple local payment methods1. Your customers can see fees and taxes in their local currency, including shipping. And enhanced fraud protection makes it easier to keep your customers and your business secure.

When Adva Bruner, founder of Ripple Yogawear from Israel, debuted her eco-friendly line online, she found that her biggest market – comprising 50% of sales – was the U.S., followed by Canada, Australia, the UK, and Iceland. With PayPal she found she could focus on running her business while PayPal took care of the complexities of international sales and made it easy for her customers to shop on her site.

Finally, getting paid is simple—no matter where your customers are or how they choose to pay. Don’t let customers’ preferences cost you sales. Create your cross-border strategy with PayPal as your partner and help your business grow.

To learn more about how PayPal can help your business grow internationally – and make customers feel secure – go to paypal.com/business.

 
1 PayPal commissioned Ipsos MORI PayPal Insights 2018. n=34,000, 31 markets. Online survey of adults (aged 18+) between March – May 2018 

Frequently asked questions.

The PayPal Developer Portal offers support for developers who have questions about technical topics, such as APIs or integration. Below is a list of common topics searched for by developers. You can also browse and search on the Developer Portal for additional topics.

Encrypted Website Payments
To make online payments more secure, you can make Encrypted Website Payment buttons that rely on standard public key encryption for protection.

Identity API
PayPal offers a secure commerce Identity API that lets your customers sign in to your web site using their PayPal credentials.

Instant Payment Notification
Instant Payment Notification is a message service that automatically notifies merchants of events related to PayPal transactions.

Invoicing
Merchants, developers, and business solution providers use Invoicing APIs to automate the creation, delivery, tracking, and reconciliation of invoices with an integrated payments solution.

Mobile SDK
Accept PayPal, credit cards and other payments methods through mobile apps.

Name-Value Pair (NVP) API
Information and support on name value pairs and NVP SDKs.

PayPal Checkout
PayPal Checkout gives your buyers a simplified and secure checkout experience that keeps them local to your website or mobile app throughout the payment process.

Payflow Gateway
Payflow Pro is a high performance TCP/IP-based client-server architecture solution. It includes a secure payment gateway that gives merchants total control over the payment process.

PayPal Sandbox Support
Information and support for users testing in the PayPal Sandbox environment.

Shopping Carts
The shopping cart system allows buyers to select multiple items on your website and pay for them with a single payment.

Permissions Service API
PayPal's permissions service enables you to request and obtain authorization to make API calls and take action on behalf of your customers.

SOAP
The PayPal SOAP API is based on open standards known collectively as web services, which include the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), and the XML Schema Definition language (XSD).

Testing Your Apps in Sandbox
A guide for developers testing their apps in the PayPal Sandbox environment.

Virtual Terminal
Information about PayPal's Virtual Terminal - a web-based application that processes credit and debit cards, replacing swipe machines.

Website Payments Pro
PayPal's Website Payments Pro is an API-based solution that enables merchants and developers to accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal payments directly on their website.
 
PayPal Payments Standard
You can accept credit cards online easily and offers a streamlined checkout experience to customers using mobile devices.
PayPal Invoicing has no set up or monthly fees. When a customer pays you online, you’re charged a fee based on the amount of the purchase. Fees vary by country or region.
Learn more about fees.

How can customers pay my invoices?

PayPal customers can easily pay your invoices. They don’t need a PayPal account to pay. They can also pay you with a credit or debit card.

Can customers make partial payments?

To accept partial payment from your customer, check the Allow partial payment box under payment options when you’re creating an invoice. This lets your customers make multiple payments toward the total amount of a single invoice.
 
If you require a minimum amount due, your customer will need to pay at least that amount in their partial payment. Your invoice will have a Partially Paid status until it’s fully paid. A record of payments will appear on the invoice details.
 
Partial payments aren’t a credit product or a way to allow for an excessive number of payments. We may contact businesses if we suspect they’re not using this feature correctly.

What if customers can’t find my invoices?

If your customer can’t find their email notification for an invoice, their email filter might have sent it to the junk folder. If your customer has a PayPal account, they can pay the invoice by logging into their account where they’ll see the invoice in their Activity. If needed, you can share a link to the unpaid invoice with your customer.
  

Can I send reminder emails for unpaid invoices?

To send a reminder about an unpaid invoice, find it in your list of invoices. On a desktop computer, click the three-dot icon and click Remind. On a mobile phone, you can send reminders from an unpaid invoice’s details page. You can personalize the reminder before sending it. Your customer will receive an email reminding them to pay the invoice. To save time, set up automatic reminders for all new invoices in your Invoicing settings. You can also schedule automatic reminders warning customers when an invoice is overdue.
Set up automatic reminders.
We continuously work to disable fake or “spoof” communication including emails, websites, and text messages. We review all submissions sent to us, and work with law enforcement around the world to stop online criminals. 

When you aren't sure if you can trust a communication claiming to be from PayPal, check to see if the message does any of the following: 

Uses impersonal, generic greetings, such as “Dear user” or “Dear [your email address].”
Emails from PayPal will always address you by your first and last names or by your business name. We never say things like "Dear user" or "Hello PayPal member.”

Asks you to click on links that take you to a fake website.
Always check links in an email before you click them. A link could look perfectly secure like www.paypal.com/SpecialOffers. Make sure to move your mouse over the link to see the true destination. If you aren’t certain, don’t click on the link.

Contains unknown attachments.
Only open an attachment if you're sure its legitimate and secure. Be particularly cautious of invoices from companies and contractors you're not familiar with. Some attachments contain viruses that install themselves when opened.

Conveys a false sense of urgency.
Phishing emails are often alarmist, warning you to update your account immediately. They're hoping you'll fall for their sense of urgency and ignore warning signs that the email is fake. If there’s an urgent need for you to complete something on your account, you can find this information by logging into PayPal. 

The following are common scams where fraudsters use spoofed emails. When in doubt, always log in to PayPal and view the Resolution Center for any notifications.
 
"Your account is about to be suspended."
Many fraudsters send spoofed emails warning you that your account is about to be suspended. The email will ask you to enter your password in a (spoofed) webpage. We’ll only ask you to enter your password on our login page. 

"You've received a payment."
Some fraudsters try to trick you in to thinking you've received a payment for an order. They want what you're selling for free. Before you ship anything, log in to PayPal and check that actually you received a payment. We'll never ask you to share a tracking number by email. If you received a payment, you’ll always see it in your PayPal activity.​

"You’ve been paid too much."
Fraudsters may try to convince you that they overpaid for an item. For example, they’ll send an email that says they’ve paid you 500.00 USD for a camera you listed at 300.00 USD. The sender asks you to ship the camera in addition to the extra 200.00 USD you were “paid” by mistake. The fraudster wants your camera AND your money but hasn’t actually paid you at all.

Before sending anything, log in to PayPal and check that you received a payment.
 

Reporting Suspicious Communication 

Emails/Websites
Phishing emails often lead you to fake websites to steal your private, sensitive data. These websites could look unusual or they could appear genuine but have a suspicious URL.

If you receive a suspicious email or website link: 
  1. Don’t click on any links inside of the email or in the website, and don’t download any attachments.
  2. Don’t enter any information.
  3. Don’t change the subject line and don’t forward the message as an attachment.
  4. Forward the email and/or website to spoof@paypal.com.
  5. Delete the email from your inbox.
SMS/Text Message
If you receive a text message with a link inviting you to visit a website:
  1. Don’t click on any links inside of the SMS text message.
  2. Screenshot the message.
  3. Make sure that the message shows the full telephone number.
  4. Email the screenshot to spoof@paypal.com.
Telephone Call
If you receive a suspicious telephone call:
  1. Take a screenshot of your phone log showing the telephone number
  2. Email the screenshot to spoof@paypal.com.
  3. Include details of the telephone call, including what the caller stated or asked from you.
If the caller left a voicemail, and you’re able to view a transcript on your mobile device, include a screenshot of it in your email.

When you send an email to spoof@paypal.com, you’ll receive an automatic email letting you know we received it.

Safeguarding Your Account

If you shared financial or personal information, or entered personal information on a fake website:
  • Change your PayPal password and security questions immediately.
  • Contact your bank and credit or debit card issuer and let them know what happened.
  • Review your recent PayPal activity to make sure you authorized all the payments.
  • Report any unauthorized payments in the Resolution Center. Remember, you’re 100% protected against unauthorized payments sent from your account.
We’ve put together some useful information on phishing and identity theft for you. To locate it, click Security on the bottom of any PayPal page.

PayPal invoices are easy to create. Just enter your customer’s email address. Then add an item with its quantity and amount. Add as many items as you like. You can include personalized notes, terms and conditions, discounts, or any attachments your customer might need.
When you’re finished, click Preview to see how your invoice will look for your customer.
 

How do I send invoices?

You can send PayPal invoices to any email address in the world. When your invoice is ready, just click or tap the Send button and PayPal’s platform will send an email notification with a secure link to the invoice directly to your customer. If they have a PayPal account, your customer will also receive notifications about the invoice when they log into their account.
 

How do I share invoice links?

You can also share links to invoices directly with your customers. On the desktop experience, click Share link to invoice under the Send action. You’ll get a link that lets your customer view and pay the invoice. You can copy the link and your invoice becomes payable. Then share it by email, text, or messaging app. Because invoices contain your customers’ personal information, don’t share the invoice link on a public site.
To share the link again, copy it from your list of invoices by clicking the three-dot icon for the invoice. Or get the link by opening up the invoice details.
 

How do I send invoices to multiple customers?

Send the same invoice to up to 100 customers by clicking Multiple customers and entering each email address in the Bill to field. We’ll send a separate, payable invoice to each customer.
 

How do I import a batch of invoices?

Create and send a batch of multiple invoices by importing a CSV file. Use our spreadsheet template to fill out the invoice details for each customer. For each invoice, include a customer email address, item name, and item amount. After you import the spreadsheet file, you can view a summary of the imported invoices before sending them. Once you send the file, we’ll email each customer a secure link to pay their invoice. For customer security, PayPal limits the number of invoices you can send in a single day.
Learn more about batch invoices.

Can I manage PayPal Invoicing from my mobile?

You can create, send, and manage invoices on both desktop computers and mobile phones. You can also send and manage invoices on the go with the PayPal Business mobile app. Get the mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Learn more.
 

What are quick invoices?

Quick invoices let you send easy, professional payment requests on your mobile phone. They streamline invoice creation so you can quickly share a link to an invoice with your customer. Your customer will still get a professional invoice including your default business information.

On a mobile phone web browser:

1. Log into PayPal and go to your invoices.
2. Tap on the button icon in the lower right.
3. Choose Send a quick invoice, enter an amount, and payment description.
4. Tap Create and Share Link.
5. When your invoice link is ready, tap Share Link, and then share it by email, text, or messaging app.
 
On the PayPal Business mobile app:

1. Tap on the lightning bolt-shaped Quick Actions icon in the lower right.
2. Choose Send a Quick Invoice and follow prompts.
3. Tap Create and Share Link, then share it by email, text, or messaging app.
4. Tap Done.
 

How do invoices for shippable items work?

If you’re shipping an item or need your customer to give a shipping address, check the Ship Order box when you’re creating your invoice. You can then add any shipping costs. When your customer pays, you’ll be able to add tracking information when you ship their order.
 

How do I schedule recurring invoices?

You can set invoices to repeat weekly, monthly, yearly, or at a custom interval. When you start a recurring series of invoices, the customer will immediately receive the first invoice. (You also can schedule the recurring series to start at a future date.) The following invoices in the series will issue around 7:00 AM in your time zone according to frequency that you set.
 

Can I cancel a recurring invoice series?

 You can cancel a single invoice within a recurring series or the entire series of invoices. To cancel an invoice, tap the three-dot icon for the invoice within your list of invoices. You can also cancel the invoice from its details page. When you cancel an invoice within a recurring series, we’ll ask if you want to cancel the single invoice or the entire series.
 

How do I send invoices across national borders?

There’s no extra step to send invoices across national borders. You can send PayPal invoices to any email address in the world.
If your customer has a PayPal account, we’ll display the invoice and email notification in their preferred language. If your customer doesn’t have a PayPal account, we’ll send the invoice and notification email in the language of your account. You can also specify a different language by editing your customer’s contact info when you create the invoice.
Fees vary by country or region. See seller fees.

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.