July 31, 2001, 12:00 AM

U.S.-based e-retailers limited by failure to accept foreign currency

Only 41 sites out of 100 surveyed provide global e-commerce capabilities that would allow overseas customers to purchase from them online. And nearly half of those sites accept payment only in U.S. dollars.

A survey of 100 leading U.S.-based e-retailers found that only a small number of them provide global e-commerce capabilities that would allow overseas customers to purchase from them online. The survey, conducted by WorldPay, Inc., which provides multi-currency and multi-lingual transactions processing, found that none of the companies listed prices in more than one currency on their main web sites. Eight sites had created separate web sites for non-U.S. shoppers that were translated into the local language, but they still accepted only one currency. Of 41 sites that had the ability to ship internationally, 17 allowed payment only in U.S. dollars. Five of the companies provide multiple sites in multiple languages – but did not offer the ability to purchase the goods from a country outside the U.S.

Of the companies surveyed, virtually all are ignoring millions of potential overseas customers and export sales opportunities, the survey concluded. “These companies are cutting themselves off from a potentially limitless global market. To be truly global, an online store must be able to sell to shoppers in the language they understand and in a currency in which the shopper understands the value,” says David Talley, vice president of U.S. operations for WorldPay. The company, with customers in nearly 100 countries, offers services to process e-commerce transactions in more than 130 currencies.


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