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With an international customer base, how do other sites decide what payment options to provide to users?

I've been trying to find the most popular online payment service providers, preferably broken down by country. For instance, which payment service providers process the most transactions, when users in Mexico buy goods online? Ideally, I'd like to find the same data for all countries in North America, South America, and Europe. In the U.S., possible answers might include services such as Paypal, Google Checkout, or Authorize.net.

Any idea where I might be able to find that kind of data? Or is there a better way to decide? Thanks!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Authorize.Net is not a payment provider like Paypal or Google Checkout. They are a payment gateway and act as a transparent facilitator of a payment by passing your transaction information to and receiving the response from a website's merchant account provider (their acquiring bank). You can't use Authorize.Net without getting a merchant account first from a provider like Elavon. Unlike Paypal or Google Checkout who are the payment provider. (That link in Wikipedia actually has a mix if payment gateway, MSP/ISOs, ands third party payment providers).

Paypal and Google Checkout support allows payments in most of the area you wish you cover. If you get a true merchant account with payment gateway in the US you will need to ask your merchant account provider if international payments are acceptable (in fact you need to tell them that up front as it will affect your ability to get an account and your rates).

When trying to decide what payment option is best for you different factors apply. Naturally supported countries is one and price in another. You can see a comparison Paypal and a true merchant account (and 2checkout and Worldpay) in this article. Comparing Google Checkout to those shouldn't be too difficult to do.

Disclaimer: I wrote the merchant account comparison article, the merchant account Wikipedia article, and contributed to the payment gateway article in Wikipedia

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