Ask the expert: How can online educators shift into the global market?

Sameer Talwar, Business Development Manager

August 11, 2020

In the last few years, online learning has risen in popularity. In 2019, education technology investments reached $18.66 billion globally, and by 2025, the online education market is expected to be worth $350 billion.

There is significant demand for online learning. In 2017, 77 percent of US corporations used online learning, a figure that was expected to grow to 98 percent by 2020. In India, the online education market in is forecasted to reach INR 360.3 billion by 2024.

For providers, digital services can mean the ability to reach a diverse audience that spans multiple regions and demographics. But a varied audience may bring different customer expectations and requirements.

If the growth already seen continues apace, the popularity of online learning could continue increasing into the future, providers should consider how to deliver an effortless payments experience that meets the varying needs of different audiences, so they can benefit from this growing industry.

How can I meet a global audience’s expectations?

Experience has become crucial to customers’ perception of your brand. In fact, experience is so important that almost three quarters of US consumers prioritize it above products and services.

For a millennial audience especially, convenience is a prime motivator and app-based payments are now more popular than cash or checks (15 percent compared to 10 percent). To increase conversion, some providers are launching in-app checkouts that eliminate friction points and remove the need to open a new page to make a purchase.

Our world is diverse, and payments preferences are no different. It is important to understand how online learners prefer to pay (and how this varies across different locations) in order to deliver a simple, convenient payment journey which, in turn, can help increase conversions.

When it comes to payment acceptance, online learning providers should consider these two approaches.

Offer local payment methods

Customer preferences, naturally, vary across countries. International consumers generally expect to be able to pay in their preferred way.

Digital wallets, for example, have grown in consumer acceptance, but preferred payment methods vary by country. 71 percent of payments in China’s eCommerce, for example, are made through digital wallets, led by Alipay and WeChat Pay, while in the US, credit card is still the most popular payment method. In Germany, bank transfer is the popular choice.

Worldpay from FIS’ local experience, payments expertise and range of solutions can help you to maximize global acceptance and get your courses seen across the world.

Accept local currency

Making a payment in an unfamiliar currency can feel daunting. Allowing customers to pay in their own currency can make the process more transparent, which could increase the chances of them completing the payment and later recognizing the charge on their statements.

Worldpay Multicurrency offers payment acceptance in 120+ currencies and helps you manage the risk of fluctuating FX rates, opening a world of payment possibilities.

What are the main payment challenges I could encounter?

If you’re offering higher-value online courses, you may see lower acceptance rates. This could be because the customer’s bank has refused to authorize a high-value charge, leading to an “insufficient funds” or “authorization” decline.

To reduce the risk of declines, merchants delivering courses at higher values could consider adopting Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) that allow for high-value purchases. Plus, by enabling a variety of payment methods that meet consumers’ need for security and convenience, APMs can support your global growth.

Bank transfer APMs are usually unrestricted when it comes to purchase amount, providing a fast and safe way for global customers to pay by transferring money from their bank account, via iDEAL or Sofort Classic, for example.

What happens if customers want their money back?

Organizations in the education and training industry are those most likely (43 percent) among all other industries to have chargeback rates exceeding 1 percent. Almost two-thirds of companies selling digital goods or services report chargeback rates of 1 percent or higher.

Customers purchasing education online may find issues after the course has been purchased. Chargebacks could happen when a user fails to complete a course or doesn’t get the result they wanted. Make sure refund details are easily available before purchases take place.

To reduce the risk of chargebacks, provide clear and detailed instructions for support and refunds, preferably offered in the native language of the user. There should also be upfront information on the curriculum, including the length of the program, expected time commitments and details of what downloadable course materials are available.

It’s easy to see disputes as just a cost of doing business. Managed in the right way and with expert advice, however, the number of chargebacks faced can be reduced. With Worldpay Disputes solutions, we can help you tackle the challenge of disputes through efficient and effective chargeback monitoring and defense services, helping you to keep your revenue protected.

Let’s talk

Online education could offer exciting growth going forward. We’re here to help you gain more from the industry on a local and global level.

To find out more about our services and how we can support your payments, contact us here.