Hi, boardy !
I investigated a number of these for my own company last year and
finally came down to two third party processor services, both based in
the USA, whose costs seemed reasonable. I then emailed a number of
their overseas merchants to see how happy they were with the service,
and both showed up well.
They essentially act as your online retailer, which means problems
with fraudulent credit card use are their problems, not yours.
( Visit http://www.merchant911.org for information on the problems for
It also means that your sales through them are technically always to
them - i.e. export sales as far as Australia is concerned and
therefore I believe GST free. Their fees are not additional to any
merchant card fee. We have our own merchant account for Australian
sales (charged at 4.5%) but use them for overseas sales.
It also means that your prices displayed in US$ appear on the client's
account charged in US$. The conversion only comes in when the provider
We eventually went with CCNow.
They offer a shopping cart which is very simple to set up, they claim
to promote your site, and you have a lot of control over where and
when your money will be sent.The arrangement wtih them can be
terminated at any time - there is no contract length. They have a
monthly fee of US $11.95 which is for inclusion in their monthly
"Your Web site will be found in the search results of over 125 of the
top search engines including America Online and Microsoft Network."
I have to say looking at my stat log files I cannot see any evidence
of our being visited by search engines other than those I have myself
submitted to, but there may be overlaps.
There other charges for overseas clients are:
"Monthly Sales Volume Retail Margin
$100.01 and above 11% of your total sales in excess of $100.00 "
"* During the initial 30 day trial period you will not be charged a
$9.95 monthly promotional fee ($11.95 monthly promotional fee for
International clients). You will be charged a flat 9% retail margin
(11% retail margin for International clients) on each sale made
through CCNow. "
However CCNow pays you interest at the rate of 1.5% APR on funds
sitting in your account.
We felt their charges were more or less offset by the GST free sales,
and they seem very professional. Have a look at their very strict
returns policy, however, and see if that suits you. They do not accept
"adult" sites and deal only in "tangible" merchandise ie: "physical
products that are shipped to the Online Shopper's physical address".
"This policy helps CCNow to maintain our low retail margin. Tangible
merchandise incurs a much lower rate of inquiries, disputes, and fraud
than service-based sales or electronically delivered products." They
also do not allow sales of such things as drugs, explosives, live
animals and alcohol.
We were also impressed by
Which charges a US$49 Merchant Account Setup Fee , then $0.45 per
Transaction plus 5.5% of Transaction Amount. There are no monthly
fees. They boast:
"FREE Check Payment or Low Cost Wire to Non US Bank Accounts
FREE Shopping Cart!
FREE Code For Your Site
FREE Tech Support! "
They support recurring billing and do permit the sales of downloadable
products such as ebooks, music etc. Again there is no committment to a
term - you can leave them when you want. They accept cheques. They
have similar restrictions on the sale of animals, pornography, psychic
readings and firearms etc. but will provide information on how to sell
"hard to place products".
You might also care to look at:
American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Diners Club/Carte
Blanche and JCB are supported, as well as electronic cheques. They
seem comprehensive, but much more complicated to set up and their
pricing structure is only available by contacting their sales
department, which always annoys me, especially when I get an
I hope this is useful.