The Best International Merchant Account Providers

If you have global aspirations for your business growth, you’ll need an international merchant services provider that can work with you to make it happen.

The internet has allowed the e-commerce industry to explode, and businesses like yours need every advantage.

Because your business is online, it’s considered high risk, which means working with specific merchant account providers that offer services to international companies.

No worries because we’re here to help with a list of the best international merchant account providers and payment processing companies.

Our Picks for the Top International Payment Processing Companies

Easy Pay Direct
Offers high risk merchant accounts and payment processing services for international businesses operating online in virtually any country.
Domestic accounts have zero early termination fees.
Variable contract terms.
High risk tolerance.
Single point of contact for multiple merchant accounts.
Public pricing is available.



Best for

E-commerce companies, SaaS companies, "high-risk businesses", & established small/medium businesses ($500,000+ in annual sales)

Specializes in

Easy Pay Direct has unique gateway software and banking solutions to optimize payments for eCommerce, SaaS, information products, supplements, and CBD amongst other verticals.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee:  $99

Monthly Fee: $24.95

Swipe Rate: 1.59% + $0.17

Keyed-in Rate:  2.39% + $0.29

Early Termination Fee: $0 (domestic accounts)

Contract Terms:

1 Year 3 Years
Bank Associates Merchant Services - BAMS
Integrates with multiple shopping carts to offer payment gateway services for businesses all over the world.
Takes a personal approach to each merchant account.
Primarily works with low-risk businesses.
They have a value-added service to help small businesses secure growth loans.
They accept all major payment types.
Quick setup for their integrated software.



Best for

Merchants in various industries, including e-commerce, restaurants and many types of retailers in need of payment processing services for multiple payment types.

Specializes in

Bank Associates Merchant Services specializes in Level 2 and Level 3 payment processing solutions through its own proprietary software. This company also offers chargeback defense and dispute assistance to help merchants keep their chargebacks as low as possible.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: N/A

Monthly Fee: N/A

Swipe Rate: Unknown

Keyed-in Rate: Unknown

Early Termination Fee: $595

Contract Terms:

Dharma Merchant Services
Offers excellent rates to businesses in the e-commerce space, and provides a cost analysis to determine how much switching to their services will save businesses on payment processing.
No early termination fee.
Month to month contract.
No annual fee.
Interchange plus pricing offered.
Discounted pricing for qualified non profit companies.



Best for

Dharma's website caters its services to small-sized businesses with up to twenty employees, in verticals such as restaurants, non-profits, and e-commerce platforms.

Specializes in

Dharma Merchant Services provides mobile phone processing and tablet-based POS options for merchants courtesy of Clover. Moreover, Dharma offers the Clover Mini station, which includes Clover's PRO software set. The company also resells the Clover POS solution, including a full cash drawer, built-in fingerprint scanner, and printer.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: N/A

Monthly Fee: $20

Swipe Rate: N/A

Keyed-in Rate: N/A

Early Termination Fee: None

Contract Terms:


What is an International Merchant Account?

A merchant account is necessary in order to accept credit card payments as well as other forms of payment. Debit card, mobile wallet, and even ACH and electronic check payments are all completed through a merchant account.

Many merchant account providers also have payment processing services, but there are those that partner with other companies for that purpose. The two go hand in hand.

An international merchant account is a way for businesses that accept payments from multiple countries to do business.

The merchant account is more like a holding tank for funds when customers pay for their orders. The payment processor takes care of everything that happens on the backend, including getting payment authorizations and moving money from one place to another.

When a customer makes a purchase on your website and pays with a credit card, the payment processing company moves those funds to your international merchant account. From there, any transaction fees or other charges are taken out before the balance is deposited into your business bank account.

Types of International Credit Card Processing Options

There are a few different ways for international businesses like yours to process payments. The most common is through shopping cart integration with a payment gateway, but there are others as well.

Payment Gateway Integration

Any time a person makes a purchase on a website with an online shopping cart, they are using a payment gateway.

Your payment gateway will work seamlessly with your website’s shopping cart, and all the payment processing happens behind the scenes. Your processor will authorize the payment and make sure funds are moved into your international merchant account.

Payment gateways can be customized to match and promote your brand, which lowers your risk of losing customers who could otherwise abandon their shopping carts before completing the checkout process.

Virtual Terminals

Virtual terminals are less common, but depending on your business model, it might be necessary for you to have one in place.

A virtual terminal is like a POS system that operates through the use of a website that is used to process payments. If your business is strictly online, this might not be necessary.

But if you want to offer a way for people who might not want to checkout through an online shopping cart, a virtual terminal is what you will need to process those payments.

Your customers can either call you on the phone or send orders through the mail. This is known as MOTO payment processing. Using your virtual terminal, you will manually enter their payment information and then process their orders.

Other Considerations

Some businesses have an online presence, but they also have brick and mortar locations too. If that sounds like your business model, then you will probably need to consider alternative payment processing options.

A virtual terminal can work in this situation, but depending on your preferences, you might want to opt for a POS system, credit card terminal, mobile card reader, or all of the above.

Having a POS system in place gives you a host of benefits, including allowing you to track inventory, manage payroll, and run sales reports. Today’s POS systems are very easy to use and are considered standard in most businesses that have physical locations.

Credit card terminals are similar but smaller, and mobile card readers are handy if you plan on selling your products or services at trade shows or other events.

What’s the Difference Between Working with an International Payment Processor and a Payment Aggregator?

There are some valid reasons why business owners may be drawn to working with a payment aggregator (or payment service provider) instead of with a merchant services provider.

PSPs like PayPal, Stripe, and Square offer quick and easy approval for merchant accounts, which is attractive for businesses that need to accept payments right away. Most people are familiar with these companies, so they carry a lot of authority with customers.

Payment Aggregators also use a flat rate pricing model, which many business owners prefer because it makes accounting so much easier.

But these companies have their fair share of problems, and it’s important to be aware of them before you decide to work with one of them. For instance, with PSPs:

  • All businesses share a merchant account, so you won’t have one of your own. If you have too many chargebacks, your funds could get frozen, and you would lose access to them.
  • Regulations are constantly changing for certain types of products, and the company could decide that your business is too risky and close your account without notice.
  • Transaction fees can be pretty steep with flat rate pricing, and you could end up paying more than you should for payment processing services.

Things to Look for in an International Merchant Services Provider

Working with an international merchant account provider is a little different than working with a standard risk one.

Here are some things you should be looking for before you make your decision.

Support for Foreign Taxes

The United States is one of a few countries that does not have a VAT (value-added tax), but most other countries do.

VAT is a tax that is levied on goods production during each stage of the process, but collection falls on the end retailer.

You don’t want to have to worry about collecting this tax, and when you work with a quality international payment processor, they’ll take care of it for you.

Increased Security and Fraud Prevention

Cyberattacks are becoming more common, and the last thing you want is for your customers’ personal financial information to fall prey to one of them.

The best way to avoid that is to work with an international MSP that has excellent security and fraud prevention services.

Talk with any company you are considering working with about PCI compliance. This is something you may need to pay a fee for, but the company will help you avoid exposing your customers’ sensitive data to cyberattacks.

Multiple Currency Capabilities

Countries all over the world exchange United States dollars, but accepting payments in multiple currencies will give you an advantage over your competition.

The more currencies you accept the better, so it will benefit you to have a payment gateway that will work with more than one. Currencies can be displayed on your website’s shopping cart so customers are aware of them.

Support for Multiple Payment Types

If your business is operating in foreign markets, it will benefit you to accept several payment types. Visa and Mastercard are both important, but there are also foreign cards that your customers may want to pay with, such as Alipay.

Mobile wallet payments are also increasing in popularity, and there are some experts that believe they will eventually surpass credit card use.

The bottom line is, the more payment options you can offer, the better.

How to Choose the Best International Payment Processor to Meet Your Needs

Every international business is different, and it’s important for you to find one that will meet your needs.

The following are all things that you will want to pay close attention to as you are making your decision.

Pricing Structure and Transaction Fees

Working with an international MSP means paying for those services. Pricing structure is important, and there may be some key terms that you are not at all familiar with.

Each payment you process will have a transaction fee charged. That fee will most likely fall under one of the following plans.

  • Tiered pricing - This model separates all transactions into three different tiers - qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified. Depending on the products you sell, your sales will be divided into one of those tiers with non-qualified being the highest.
  • Flat rate pricing - As we discussed previously, flat rate pricing is commonly used by payment service providers, but many MSPs offer it as well. This simply means that every transaction is charged the same transaction fee across the board. But flat rate pricing does tend to be higher than other pricing models.
  • Interchange-plus pricing - This model is the most transparent of all of them. Interchange rates are set by the credit card companies twice each year on a regular schedule. Each type of transaction has its own set rate (card-present, card-not-present, etc.) and the plus part of the equation refers to the amount that is charged by the payment processor to cover their services.

Customer Service and Support

Having quality customer support is so important, so you want to make sure the company you choose will be able to give you the help you need.

As an international business, you will likely need customer service to be available at all times of the day and night. It might not work as well for you if they are only in the office from 9-5 Monday through Friday.

The best international merchant account providers should be able to help you over the phone, by email, and some even offer chat options through their websites for quicker service.

Contract Terms

You will be asked to sign a contract with any provider you choose. But this is not something you should sign lightly.

Take some time to review the terms and ask questions so you understand them before you sign. Here are some of the questions you should ask:

  • What are the monthly and yearly fees you would pay?
  • Is there an early termination fee, and if so, how much is it?
  • Is there anything you need to know about your account that isn’t included in your contract?

A word of advice - avoid entering into a contract for hardware if you need it. It is much more cost-effective for you to purchase a POS system than to lease it.

Seamless Payment Gateway Integration

The top international merchant service providers should be able to help you get started fairly quickly.

Integrating with a payment gateway should be seamless, and it should allow customers to complete their transactions quickly and without any glitches.

You may even be able to have your tech team integrate by just adding a few lines of code.

Additional Pro Tips

Ask About Multiple International Merchant Accounts

As a high risk business, only having one merchant account could put your business at risk. If too many customers request chargebacks, your merchant account could be closed or your funds frozen until an investigation takes place.

But many MSPs provide more than one merchant account for businesses and their funds are divided among them. This is called load balancing and it offers a layer of protection in the event of excessive chargebacks.

Learn About Additional Functionality

Your international merchant account provider may offer software that provides additional functionality as well. It may be able to help you complete payroll and keep track of your inventory.

Also, additional services may be available for your business that you can take advantage of. Many MSPs offer working capital loans and other benefits that can help you grow your business.

Consider Exchange Rates and Cross Border Fees

Exchange rates are always changing, so ask any merchant services provider you are considering what their process is. How do they figure out exchange rates and how much do they charge?

Cross border fees accompany many of the most popular payment options, such as Visa and Mastercard. But the right payment processing company may be able to help you minimize them.

Our Top Recommendations for International Merchant Account Providers