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US Company - Starting To Sell To Europe

How to charge in Euros?

     
3:18 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We are a US company, who up until now has simply handled orders through our US branch, charged in Dollars.

We now have a German distribution center, and have our widget.co.uk page, widget.nl, etc.

We're currently using mals-e in the USA to accept USA only orders.

I want to be able to have websites in each of these countries, charge in their OWN currency, and have it be billed in their own currency, so they see a "euro" company.

The trouble is, our bank is a very small town local bank, which we love, and our credit card processor only handles dollars.

For these .co.uk and .nl pages, should I open a European bank account and merchant account to route those sales through? That makes sense as the best option, don't you think?

Any other ideas?

I just really hate to have a Euro price on those local pages, then have it come out of their account in dollars, "approximately" what we told them in Euros that it would cost.

Same for pounds in UK.

Any advice would be really great, thanks! :)

3:25 pm on July 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You could look at the site XE.com
which is a currency converter, so
you can give your prices in the
local currency... I hope that helps.
Nick.
4:35 pm on July 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can definitely check rates at XE, but i'm not sure how that solves any of my problems. XE is a great site though, thanks Nick!
8:11 pm on July 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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be careful when converting currencies using the XE mid-market rates: they are halfway between the buy & sell rates.

You need to use the sell rates when selling or the client will be overcharged and unhappy.

The RBC Foreign Exchange Cheque Rate Converter is a good one to use when trying to charge an exact amount in a foreign currency. It clearly spells out the buy and sell rates.

9:34 pm on July 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What I would like to do is NOT do any sort of mid market converting.

Price will be 333.56 Euros, period, etc.

Charge his credit card in Euros, and whatever we end up with on our end in dollars is what happens.

Make sense?

4:07 am on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Weve been selling to the UK for over 4 years. I wanted to get a multi-currency merchant account so I could charge in GBP but the rates for these accounts were outrageous. Many gateways support multi-currency (i know authorize.net does support GBP) but the problem is with the merchant account banks not wanting to deal with "overseas" transactions. What we do: After many years of trial and error we found that when you under charge and order instead of overcharge by a few cents you wont have any complaints - at all. We do over 30 sales a day, what we have to do is use the Virtual terminal from our merchant account and manually enter the cusotmers CC data from the shopping cart system - when we enter the details we use XE.com as a basic converter, but round off to the amount i.e. if 16.50 pounds is 31.18 USD we will charge $31.00. This usually under charges the customer by a few cents but its better than paying 8% for a multi currency account.
7:33 am on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>Make sense?

absolute sense,

you should be able to get a merchant/gateway that handles multiple currencies that way the customer is billed in the currecy they chose (if you give them a choice - eg in europe they don't get a choice they are just billed in euros etc)

as for prices i'm with you, those people that convert currencies and quote the converted rate are missing the point, numbers are very important as you obviously know, eg 99 euros is a much better price than 101!

we charge fixed prices in different currencies, the prices never change whatever the fluctuation of the currency markets, sometimes we do better other times less so at conversion but it all balances out, the dollar/pound/euro are actually relatively stable with each other anyway.

4:07 pm on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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absolute sense,

you should be able to get a merchant/gateway that handles multiple currencies that way the customer is billed in the currecy they chose (if you give them a choice - eg in europe they don't get a choice they are just billed in euros etc)

as for prices i'm with you, those people that convert currencies and quote the converted rate are missing the point, numbers are very important as you obviously know, eg 99 euros is a much better price than 101!

we charge fixed prices in different currencies, the prices never change whatever the fluctuation of the currency markets, sometimes we do better other times less so at conversion but it all balances out, the dollar/pound/euro are actually relatively stable with each other anyway.


Exactly what we want to do. I just don't know how to do it, since our current merchant account doesn't even know what a freakin' Euro is.

Anyone that's currently doing this? Want to share how you're doing it? Which merchant/gateway you use in Europe while being based in the US?

I need to get this done quickly, and the only thing holding me up is finding a suitable bank/merchant etc. over there that is willing to deal with a US company.

5:26 pm on July 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Charge his credit card in Euros, and whatever we end up with on our end in dollars is what happens.

You will need to have a euro bank account to deposit your charged euros into. Then you convert it to USD when transfering cash to your main operating account.

Chase Paymentech will do multi-currency transactions but they might want a $5K security deposit (depending on how risky your industry is).

10:55 am on July 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree with everyone in this thread - don't just convert prices on the fly using the latest market prices, actually work out the most sensible price.

I'm from the UK and set up a website aimed at Ireland. I got Worldpay to set up Euros on my account, so the customer is billed in Euros and when I set up the Irish website, I made the prices approxiamtely the same, just rounding up to the nearest .99. I do offer free P+P when ordered through the Irish website. They have to pay for delivery on the .co.uk, so I never have any complaints of prices 'being higher'.

Incidentally, if you are aiming a webiste at the UK, I would avoid using Euros, and go for Punds instead. Most of us brits are quite proud of our currency and (although it would make my life easier from a business stand point), I dislike the currency and would loathe the day it was ever introduced.

3:57 pm on July 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Will definitely go with pounds for UK and euros for the rest of Europe, if I can ever find a merchant account that can handle it. Still waiting to hear back from paymenttech.
8:59 pm on July 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And still waiting....Not very quick with their rate quotes :(

Anyone else have any ideas/options?

7:10 pm on July 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone has experience in open the bank account in foreign countries like in Europe. Do you have to forming the company? I have read that mostly open the merchant account, must be corporation. I have found that there are many forming service companies in UK. How about the chance to get approval from bank?
4:44 pm on July 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Still waiting to hear back from paymentech.

Ya, long wait... Just call them on the 1-800 line.

Anyone has experience in open the bank account in foreign countries like in Europe.

There should be no need to go to hassle of setting up with a European bank unless you are over there. Your bank in the US should be able to set up foreign currency accounts and/or a card processor like paymentech can tell you which banks they work with.

5:26 pm on July 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ya, long wait... Just call them on the 1-800 line.

Now why didn't I think of that? :)

I've talked to them multiple times, should have rates today, so hopefully they're reasonable and we'll be up and rolling.

Thanks to those who were trying to help!

10:30 am on July 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think you should incorporated in europe to get a merchant account especially if you want to open an account in EU.
11:18 pm on July 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You could get a paypal merchant account to handle overseas orders, it works all over the world. If you sell tangible goods the biggest road block is shipping, customs, etc.
7:34 pm on July 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The best thing to do would be to establish a multi-currency merchant account

[edited by: minnapple at 10:46 pm (utc) on July 24, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] Please no promotional url or email drops [/edit]
[/edit][/1]

1:24 pm on July 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Check with chronopay,they are reputed and reliable processor and have wide coverage throughout Europe, for UK worldpay is good, I hope.