Visa Unblocking E-Commerce
Will Visa Be Successful In Unblocking E-Commerce?
With the recent acquisition of Visa Europe, Visa has been hammering away at preventing unjust geo-blocking and heavily promoting unblocking e-commerce for online shoppers worldwide. With almost 90% of online shoppers not willing to purchase outside of their country, Visa is seeing an opportunity that they aren’t willing to squander. Will the payment processing industry giant be successful? We think there are a few more barriers, other than preventing geo-blocking, that make online shopping and the acceptance of payments difficult for shoppers and merchants alike.
The first on our list of hurdles are import and export taxes. Depending on the items being sought after, purchasing from other countries around the world sometimes have customs fees associated with them. This sometimes makes the purchase of a $5 pair of socks turn into a $6 or $7 pair of socks, depending on the customer’s country.
Shipping Costs & Times
Keeping socks as the focal point, most consumers would rather buy locally instead of paying extra shipping costs for international postage. Also, consider the time it takes to ship items internationally. With standard postage from the East Coast of the United States to Europe, a package takes a week and a half to be delivered, while the East Coast of the United States to China is almost 3 weeks. That’s a long time to wait for a pair of socks.
Card Issuing Banks
Card issuing banks are stuck between a rock and a hard place in the unblocking e-commerce movement. Many card issuing banks place restrictions on international purchases due to fraud and stolen cards. These banks either block international transactions all together or flag them as fraudulent when the occur, often times putting a hold on the cardholder’s account. This also hurts merchants when otherwise successful transactions are declined.
While shoppers may benefit from purchasing products in countries where their dollar goes farther, many card issuing banks make the cardholder responsible for any currency conversions fees. These show up in the form of an extra debit on the credit card statement, again adding to the original cost of the item.
Our Final Thoughts On Unblocking E-Commerce
Don’t get us wrong, the unblocking of e-commerce is highly important to the success of the global economy. All countries would benefit greatly from being allowed to shop online for products they may not be able to find locally. As shown in the infographic kindly provided by Visa, a whopping 84% of online shoppers don’t buy from other countries, but geo-blocking isn’t the only contributing factor. Shipping efficiency, overall cost, and legality will always be carefully considered by consumers when placing orders.