When Australia-based BillPro Pty. Ltd. opened in 2008, the online payment provider focused on helping local businesses sell nationally. But after gaining a strong foothold with its proprietary technology, the company explored new markets so businesses could sell internationally.
"In 2011, we entered the Chinese market quite heavily and a number of Southeast Asian markets, including Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand before we spread into the U.S. in 2012, and Canada," said Daria Rippingale, Chief Executive Officer of BillPro. "We've since been granted a full cross-border European Payment Institution license and acquiring license as well, so we're expanding rapidly."
In addition to regional office support, BillPro provides 24/7 verification and client support through its Center of Excellence in Australia. "We have, I believe, the largest in-house fraud team of any payment service provider internationally that I'm aware of," Rippingale said. "We run a 24-hour center with two teams; one is a 24-hour transaction monitoring team, and they watch all transactions in real time as they come in."
Adopting a balanced approach to fraud monitoring is critical. According to Rippingale, online businesses can easily lose up to 10 percent of sales due to overly restrictive fraud controls. "I get a lot of complaints in the U.S. about this," she said. "Many gateways and banks are scared of fraud, so they're turning on fraud controls that they don't understand and aren't suited for the merchant's business."
BillPro stated it has a unique affiliate monitoring service for businesses that purchase web traffic or work with affiliate companies to drive sales. "We take an attribute-based forward control perspective, so we're fully integrated with Visa, Mastercard and CyberSource to block all blacklisted transactions and set variables, but at the same time we put that personal side in," said Rippingale, noting that a concerted effort is made to call verify flagged cardholders prior to blocking transactions.
BillPro also pointed out that U.S. merchants and partners interested in transitioning to global commerce receive expert advice. "I would say 90 percent of our partners that we have worked with in the U.S. have been solely domestic-focused agents and ISOs," Rippingale said. "From a compliance perspective, it's much more straightforward in the U.S. than a lot of other regions, which makes it difficult for U.S. businesses moving offshore, because they don't expect the level of scrutiny they're potentially getting."
Merchants also gain access to an array of alternative payment options. While credit cards are preferred by online shoppers in the United States and Australia, elsewhere that is not the case. In Germany, for example, less than 30 percent of ecommerce purchases are made using credit cards, Rippingale noted.
"We have 27 different alternative payment methods in Western Europe alone, so we have every local bank payment method to every local country," Rippingale said. To remove the complexity of dealing with international markets, BillPro merchants can manage all regions within a single global piece. "It just means that for an online business, your payments, settlements, money and accounting are all in one location," she added.
According to Rippingale, 80 percent of high-risk merchants are declined by acquirers because the acquirer does not understand their business model. "We tell people that we accept all high-risk business because unlike most payment companies, we don’t assess merchants based on their industry or their category," she said. "We assess every merchant based on their individual worth."
For U.S. sales partners, BillPro offers three revenue streams based on personal involvement and contribution, with white-labeling opportunities for larger ISOs and the flexibility to assign different earning structures to individual merchant accounts.
BillPro takes pride in another differentiator: its loyalty rewards program exclusively for sales partners. Agents can earn points for such activities as responding quickly to merchant-related requests or boarding quality merchants, which are convertible as revenue for redemption on gift cards or better pricing on future applications, Rippingale said.
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