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Best Stripe Alternatives for International Sellers


Are you an international seller looking to expand your online business and reach customers in the United States? If so, you’ve likely encountered the challenges of finding a reliable payment processor that caters to your unique needs.

Stripe and PayPal, two of the most popular options, may not always be the best fit for merchants based outside the US.


The Needs of International Sellers

As an international seller, you face a unique set of challenges when it comes to accepting payments from US customers. To succeed in this competitive market, you must first understand your specific needs and prioritize them in your search for the perfect payment processor.

First and foremost, consider the importance of accepting multiple currencies. By allowing your customers to pay in their local currency, you create a more seamless and convenient shopping experience, which can lead to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Look for a payment processor that supports a wide range of currencies and offers transparent exchange rates WITHOUT exorbitant processing fees.

Next, think about the payment methods preferred by your target audience. While credit card payments are widely used and accepted in the US, some international markets heavily rely on local payment options. For example, in Germany, customers often prefer to pay with direct debit. Choosing a payment processor that supports these local payment methods can significantly boost your sales in those regions.

Compliance with regional regulations is another crucial aspect to consider. If you’re selling to customers in the European Union, you’ll need to ensure that your payment processor is compliant with the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements, which include 3D Secure (3DS) for card payments. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in declined transactions and lost sales.

Finally, focus on optimizing your conversion rates for non-domestic transactions. Cross-border payments often face higher scrutiny from banks and are more likely to be declined due to fraud concerns. To mitigate this, choose a payment processor that employs advanced fraud detection and prevention measures while still maintaining a smooth checkout process for legitimate customers.

Key Features to Look for in a Payment Processor

When evaluating Stripe alternatives for your international business, keep an eye out for the following key features:

1. Global coverage and supported countries

Ensure that the payment processor supports transactions in the countries where your target customers reside.

Look for a provider with a wide global reach to accommodate your future expansion plans.

2. Multi-currency support

Choose a payment processor that allows you to accept payments in multiple currencies.

Verify that the provider offers competitive exchange rates and transparent fees for currency conversions.

3. Local payment method integration

Seek out a payment processor that integrates with the most popular local payment methods in your target markets (credit card, debit card, ACH, digital wallets, Apple Pay, Visa, Discover, etc.)

Ensure that these payment options are seamlessly integrated into the checkout process to maximize conversions.

4. Fraud protection, prevention, and security measures

Prioritize online payment processors that employ robust fraud detection and prevention tools.

Look for features such as 3D Secure, tokenization, and advanced risk management to protect your business from chargebacks and your customers’ sensitive data.

Use a payment gateway that has PCI compliance built-in (like

5. Ease of integration and setup

Consider the technical aspects of integrating the payment processor into your existing e-commerce platform or website.

Opt for a provider that offers well-documented APIs, SDKs, and plugins to streamline the integration process.

6. Competitive pricing and fees

Compare the pricing structures and fees of different payment processors to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Be aware of any hidden costs, such as setup fees, monthly fees, or transaction fees, that could impact your bottom line.

The Top Stripe Alternative for International Sellers

As an international seller, you need an online payment processing solution that can support your global business for the long haul. While popular payment service providers (PSPs) like Stripe, PayPal, and Square offer international features, they may not be the best fit for your long-term needs.

The only real solution for international sellers is a dedicated merchant account. With a dedicated merchant account, you have the flexibility to negotiate terms that align with your small business requirements. You can work directly with your payment processor to customize your account, ensuring that you only pay for the features you actually need.

In contrast, PSPs often bundle features into their pricing plans, forcing you to pay for extras that you may never use. Additionally, the fees associated with international transactions and currency conversions can quickly eat into your profits. PSPs typically charge higher rates for these services, which can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

A dedicated merchant account allows you to avoid these unnecessary costs and optimize your payment processing for your specific business needs. You can negotiate lower rates for international transactions and currency conversions, saving you money on every sale.

Moreover, a dedicated merchant account provides a level of stability and reliability that PSPs cannot match. With a PSP, you are essentially renting your payment processing capabilities, which means that your account can be suspended or terminated at any time, often without warning. This can be devastating for an international business that relies on consistent credit card processing to maintain cash flow and fulfill orders.

With a dedicated merchant account, you have a direct relationship with your payment processor, giving you greater control over your account and reducing the risk of unexpected interruptions to your payment processing.

While Stripe and other PSPs may seem like an attractive option for international sellers, the reality is that a dedicated merchant account is the only solution that can truly support your global business in the long run. By negotiating your terms and avoiding unnecessary fees, you can optimize your payment processing and focus on growing your international sales.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.