Rewriting the Rules on Global Payments with Localized Payment Methods

Ryan O’Holleran, Director of Enterprise Sales, EMEA, Airwallex

Ryan O’Holleran, Director of Enterprise Sales, EMEA, Airwallex

Despite the challenges numerous businesses faced during the pandemic, one such sector that accelerated during COVID-19 has been the ecommerce sector. This shift towards online businesses has also spurred the growth of online payments.

According to a report from, the global digital payment market is expected to grow by $85.12 billion in the next four years, accelerating at a CAGR of 17.41 percent during this period.

“The businesses that want to thrive in today’s market, need to understand that there’s no one size fits all approach to gain additional market share”

To gain a competitive edge in today’s market, businesses need to be innovative and tech-savvy. This means rethinking and rewriting existing business models to engage with new, global audiences. One such way is with localized payment methods.

The journey to localized payment methods

Localized payment methods are the most popular or preferred payment method in a specific region. By enabling localized payment methods, it ensures consumers are able to make a purchase in their preferred way, while also increasing conversion rates/sales for any given merchant. This is especially important when factoring in countries with lower levels of financial stability or inclusion, as there will be greater demand from consumers to purchase in their preferred way.

There are a number of different localized payment methods, including: bank transfers, buy now, pay later, card-based payment methods, card wallets, carrier billing, cash-based payment methods, e-wallets, mobile wallets, pass-through wallets, prepaid vouchers and virtual cards.

For example, in the Netherlands the most successful and most used payment method is iDEAL, which is a swift, reliable and efficient real-time online bank transfer payment method. iDEAL also represents more than 60 percent of all Dutch ecommerce transactions.

The businesses that want to thrive in today’s market, need to understand that there’s no one size fits all approach to gain additional market share.

By implementing localized payment methods, your business can not only increase cart conversions and grow sales, but also enhance the customer experience by building trust and loyalty with them.

Enabling a secure payment flow with network tokenization

Another way merchants can delight their customers and offer a frictionless purchasing experience is with network tokenization.

Network tokenization is when the payment networks replace a primary account number (PAN) with a unique EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) payment token that is restricted in its usage, for example, to a specific device, merchant, transaction type or channel. By restricting its usage, network tokens have an added layer of security built in and can be used throughout the entire payment ecosystem.

Unlike non-network tokens which don’t offer end-to-end security and can highlight weak points for fraudsters to exploit, network tokens ensure card details are protected throughout the entire transaction lifecycle. 

Since network tokens are automatically updated by card networks, it also improves credential lifecycle management by keeping card details current, especially as non-network tokens don’t always have issuer permission to access the underlying account information. An example of this is when a card expires or a customer loses their card and then re-issues it, you’re still able to use the same token for that purchase.

Network tokens also open new doors for businesses to provide a superior purchasing experience across old and new channels, like digital wallets.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are likely to continue with their online shopping habits. These new shopping habits will offer new opportunities for merchants as they continue to expand beyond borders and enter new geographies. However, this will only be possible if merchants localize their payment methods.


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