Online Merchant Account/Payment Gateway for Non-U.S. based Businesses


As many of you - who do not live in the us - surely know, it's near impossible to find an online merchant account/payment gateway other than paypal standard for non-us based businesses.

If there's any finance/banking/tax law gurus visiting these forums, I want to ask you:

  • Why aren't there alternatives to Paypal?
  • What are the legal/banking complexities or difficulties that stop most businesses and banks from serving non-us businesses?
  • What would be required to start a service that does serve non-us based businesses?

From the little I know and have found online of any relevance...the problem lies somewhere along the lines of liability/risks for the banks due to the less than stringent laws of other countries other than the US when it comes to persecuting online fraud and what not?

All help/advice is highly appreciated

Payments Business Business Services Merchant Account

asked May 30 '11 at 03:38
141 points
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3 Answers


I am based in Australia and have recently set up online payments. I used a local bank for the merchant account, Chargify to handle subscriptions (it is for a SaaS product), and then I found a payment gateway that both Chargify and my bank are compatible with.

It took a little bit of research to find the 3 components that work together, but nothing that googling couldn't sort out. If you don't need subscriptions, you could likely skip the Chargify (or similar) component.

There are definitely less options outside of the US (ie. I would have given braintree a go if I could). That doesn't mean it's not possible though.

answered Jul 30 '11 at 19:27
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points


I have set up a company in NZ that will meet all comsumers online purchase needs without the complexties of banks. Will allow for cross boarder trading. And yes, who says we can't do this. Banks and well known financial institutions plus popular payment gateways have had market dominance for too long.

answered Dec 11 '11 at 12:57
11 points
  • Sounds intriguing, is this something already done, or something you plan to do? – David Benson 12 years ago
  • Intriguing indeed. Particularly interested in how you plan to replace credit cards. – Imbrondir 12 years ago


There are many alternatives to PayPal, it's just that PayPal is the most popular world-wide. Some competitors play on the world stage (Google Checkout, Moneybookers, Bidpay) while others act local (Ogone, iDEAL, ...) Check your local "market". Google is your friend here.

If you start a company in your country, there would be no reason why banks should avoid working with you. After all, you would have to deposit your initial capital to start your company, wouldn't you?

Starting a local company is probably the best way to serve your local audience and to work with local banks. If you want, you may start up a company in the U.S. which then owns your local company, if that isn't too much of a hassle.

answered May 31 '11 at 16:44
Roy Dictus
343 points

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