International Credit Card Processing: How Does It Work? [2023]

Accepting credit cards from international customers can earn you more money and a larger customer base. Find out if it’s right for your business in our expert guide.

The internet has totally changed the way we share information and experiences – and this can have a profound impact on your business. When you start accepting international purchases, your earning potential skyrockets. 

Still, international credit card processing is different from what you’re used to with domestic processing. The process deals with different currencies, exchange rates, card issuer fees, and more. It’s important to understand how it all works to determine if this is the right choice for your business. We’ll break down the methodology and fees so you can make an informed decision.


How Does International Credit Card Processing Work?

At first glance, international credit card sales might seem similar to domestic sales. Most big credit card networks, like Mastercard and Visa, operate globally, so you’ll find that even customers from overseas have cards with familiar brands. 

This makes accepting international payments easy. As long as your payment system accepts these major networks, your customers can pay regardless of where they’re from or what bank issued the card. For the customer, the checkout process is the same as purchasing something from a vendor in their country. 

During the transaction, the card network automatically calculates the currency exchange based on whatever the current exchange rate is. This ensures that you receive the correct value of the currency, and that the buyer pays the correct amount. This results in a foreign exchange fee, which covers that additional processing work. This fee appears as part of the total cost for the cardholder.

Credit card brands also charge you, the merchant, a cross-border fee. This covers the costs associated with processing a transaction with currency conversion. Cross-border fees 

depend on the card network that your customer used.    

What Do You Have to Do to Accept International Credit Cards?

Here’s the good news – you don’t actually have to do anything to accept international credit card payments. If your payment system accepts most global brands, like Visa, you’ll be able to accept most international payments.

How to Choose a Payment Service Provider for International Payments 

If your business is already taking credit card payments, you’re likely able to take international payments. However, it’s best to check with your current payment processor to confirm this and check for any additional fees. Letting them know that you’ll be accepting payments from overseas will also help you avoid having any payments flagged as fraudulent.

If you haven’t yet chosen a payment service provider or are looking for a better option, you should opt for a processor that accepts international credit card brands as well as lots of payment methods. is a global payment service provider and lets you accept a wide variety of payment methods, from credit cards to PayPal and beyond. 

It’s also important that your provider meets a strong security standard to ensure you’re complying with all financial regulations and providing a secure checkout for your customers. has Level 1 PCI DSS compliance, which is the highest level of security, based on regular independent auditing and testing. 

Click here to get started with now!

The Bottom Line 

Accepting international credit card payments opens you up to a whole new market of customers and can greatly expand your earning potential. While it might seem complex, processing is fairly simple for you and your customers. You’ll deal with a couple of fees, but otherwise, the procedure will be similar to what you’re used to.

Though you may already be able to process international payments with your current merchant service provider, now might be the time to switch. 

It’s important that you have a provider that accepts a wide range of payment methods and has a high-security clearance, like With our payment system behind your business, your customers will feel safe shopping with you – no matter where in the world they are! Click here to find out how you can get started.


How can my business process international credit cards?

The major credit card networks, like Visa and Mastercard, operate globally so you’ll likely be able to process credit cards with your current payment system. It’s always best to check with your provider to confirm. offers international credit card processing as well as multiple convenient ways to collect payments, like using Pay Links or a customizable checkout page. Click here to find out more!

What payment services work internationally?

Most payment services work internationally because they accept major credit card brands. However, only certain systems work with smaller credit card brands. accepts a wide variety of payment methods and credit cards, including international options.

How long does an international credit card transaction take to go through?

The checkout process takes just a few seconds, just like a normal transaction. However, it can take up to three days for the transaction to clear and post to the customer’s statement.

How can I avoid fraud when accepting international credit cards?

International credit cards are more susceptible to security threats, so it’s important to have monitored security protection with multiple tiers. has the highest level of security, with Level 1 PCI DSS compliance. 

Plus, our system tokenizes the credit card details in transit, so the numbers are never stored on our servers - in other words, hackers can’t access them. We also support 3D Secure 2.0 (3DS2) which is an added layer of authentication.

Meet the author
Ginny Dorn
Ginny Dorn is a finance and business copywriter specializing in credit card processing and fintech. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences.
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