Similar to how you communicate the accepted payment methods to your U.S. cus- tomers on your website, clearly indicate the same for your Canadian customers. For added consumer confidence, you may want to include information about the security measures in place on your website as well as those used during the checkout to help provide assurance that their payment information is safe and secure.
Multiple Currencies You will need to decide whether to localize your website to allow your Canadian cus- tomers to pay in their local currency or to keep everything in U.S. dollars.
While Canadian consumers prefer localized websites, accepting foreign currencies is more involved and requires not only website changes (from providing pricing in local currency to the design of the web pages), but also system changes on the back end. For more information, contact your acquirer/payment processer.
Some considerations to keep in mind include consistency of pricing between Canada and the U.S. and presenting only one currency to your Canadian customers. Although the Canadian dollar fluctuates against the U.S. dollar, as the CAD dollar nears par, Canadians expect similar pricing. By presenting pricing in Canadian dollars, it does require regular updates to account for currency fluctuations, but these should be done on the back end to minimize any customer impact.
Accepting card payments only in U.S. dollars, the actual cost of goods your interna- tional customers pay will depend upon the foreign exchange rates at the time of pur- chase plus any additional conversion fees, such as any assessed by their card Issuer, which they will then see on their monthly statement. You can also check whether your payment services provider can perform currency conversion at the time of settlement.
Taxes, Customs, Duties, Shipping
Before asking for payment, you will still need to choose whether you will show your Canadian customers the fully landed cost of their purchase, including the appropriate Canadian federal and provincial/territorial goods and services taxes (GST, PST, or HST) as well as the customs and duties that apply to the items in addition to the shipping cost. Canadian consumer preference is for full transparency as it helps in their purchas- ing decision. In a recent survey, 86% of respondents agreed that knowing the fully landed cost would help to increase their cross-border purchases as identified in Figure 9.1 below.
Figure 9.1: Top Factors that would Encourage Increased Purchases
The ability to ship anything from USA to CDA hassle-free
Knowing the fully landed cost
A special offer from U.S. merchants
An easy process for returns
0% 20% 40% 60% Ipsos Reid Online Omnibus Survey for Visa Canada, Oct.–Nov. 2009
Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers
Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.