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WorldPay - Multi-currency Web stores

WorldPay provides e-payment facilities to online Web stores. A linchpin of WorldPay’s plan to dominate the arena is the multi-currencies platform that took the company one and a half year to develop.

Jo Wright

WorldPay provides e-payment facilities to online Web stores. A linchpin of WorldPay’s plan to dominate the arena is the multi-currencies platform that took the company one and a half year to develop. Jo Wright, WorldPay’s Asia-Pacific managing director, explains how the world pays.

Part of the difficulty of designing multi-currencies platform is the reporting function to storeowners. While the user may experience something as simple as choosing an option with a mouse click, the process becomes complicated at the store-end when transactions in all those foreign currencies has to be translated back to the owner’s own currency.

The task is relatively simple when there are only one or two currencies. The difficulty multiplies exponentially, however, as the number of currencies supported increases. In WorldPay’s case, its platform supports over 130 different currencies.

The real advantage of trading on the Internet, according to WorldPay, is the Web’s global reach. As such, the company believes, it is pointless to implement a system that is limited to a local region.

“The difficulty is that [Internet] companies actually need a global solution, systems that work in a country do not necessarily pan out in all countries,” said Jo Wright, WorldPay’s Asia-Pacific managing director. “Rather than implementing something that is very short lived within one country, which doesn’t allow for people to shop externally, we have to look at the bigger picture and at the global opportunities.”

On top of multi-currencies support, WorldPay’s platform also provides online stores with real-time reporting, dispute settlement and refund functionalities. The company is currently working on multi-byte enabling its platform to support Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean and Chinese. As it is, the system allows multi-lingual transactions to be conducted in European languages.

WorldPay partners closely with one of its shareholders, the NatWest Bank for not only foreign exchange functions, but also to assume the risk of accepting online merchants into its payment network. It now has 10 000 merchants using its products around the world and continues to enroll about 800 new merchants every month.

More onThe State of ePayment.

In 1999, the company introduced its first store builder product, Click and Build. The product was immediately picked up by Photoshop, an image library that wanted a platform that featured integrated payment system and allowed for immediate download of images as soon as they are paid for.

According to the store’s testimonial, Click and Build was an exact fit to what they were looking for.

The online store used the product’s templates to create its own storefront, implemented “soft goods” download (i.e. to download the images once they had been purchased) that was key to the store’s operations, and installed facility for bulk uploads.

Not surprisingly, the platform’s e-payment facility and multi-currency support has been cited as among the main reasons why the solution was adopted.

Another key to WorldPay’s strategy in the e-payment arena has been its attempt to encompass all credible applications to Internet business. According to Wright, a part of the company’s mandate has been to speedily assess a company’s credit risk and to quickly accept and assume part of that risk themselves.

As soon as a store is accepted as WorldPay’s customer, all other applications to credit card companies are taken care of on their behalf by the solution provider.

“What we’ve found when we first started was that banks were very hesitant about taking on online businesses, they didn’t know much about the Internet and so they were very cautious about approving Internet businesses,” explained Wright. “But globally, we wanted to take on companies around the world. The position that we’re in today, we can accept a company very quickly. And if someone wants to build a shop on the Internet, the can build the store today very quickly.”