Accepting credit cards

Does anyone have experience with accepting credit card payments from around the world? Through my website for a SARL. Crédit Agricole, my (poor imitation of a) bank offers this service but if I go by my experience, half the time it won't work and it will cost 5 times the same service in Canada.

There are a lot of services on the internet - I am just wondering if someone has first hand experience.

Since this is for a professional service (software sales), PayPal does not sound professional enough.

Merci! Imre

Thanks Pauline. I am a tiny bit smaller than Amazon... :-) The 4 big ones:

BNP Paribas, BPCE, Société Générale et le Crédit Agricole?

I worked with HSBC before and they are also subject to French rules so their is a huge difference between their branch here and in Toronto, for example.

The answer to my original question seems to be Avangate (specialized for software sales). I have a business associate who has good experience with them. Thanks everyone.

I've worked for two credit card processing companies, and I happen to know that French credit card payment processing is not remotely like that of any other country. I am not surprised by your experience. The big four banks process for everybody else, in their own format...

The French, on the whole, do not like credit cards per se, and most banks only offer an extended debit card, where you pay off the balance at the end of the month or there's the devil to pay. My Credit Agricole "Visa" card is a straight debit card, apart from the bank's blithe disobedience of Mastercard and Visa regulations, like being able to change your pin at an ATM. But then CA is a consortium of small local banks that don't quite talk to each other, not in the same language, anyway. Any change must be wrought by that many-legged idiot, a committee. And how many of us have experienced the deep joy of finding their (British, Canadian) Visa or Mastercard won't pay for petrol in a 24/24 service station and there's about a teaspoonful left in the tank?

It really depends on the nature of your business and the types of sale you are planning. Unless you're a corporate entity swinging a lot of weight, and expecting a lot of transactions, or are backed by one (I'm thinking Amazon here) approaching a French French bank for reliable e-services just isn't worth it. There are the International French banks - HSBC, for instance - who process for themselves. Good hunting.

PS I don't work for HSBC or any of their associates! There are other banks! And Worldpay and -er- Paypal.

Thanks Shirley. Treasure trove of information.

Vic, although I have done little travelling since early 2012, for years I have simply had insurance with my bank. I occasionally used to go off at a couple of days notice and with preparations the last thing that would have crossed my mind is phoning the bank let alone calling in there that would have involved travel and time anyway. The couple of times my card has been damaged, the one and only time it was pinched and the time the receptionist at a hotel tried to switch it for a similar looking one when I was leaving (she left her job a few minutes later) are my entire history. The three occasions when I had to report it, the UK card line worked. The stolen card, 2010, was apparently skimmed for data and an attempt was made to get into my account (here in France) within six hours. As luck had it, I called at about the same time as that was happening. So, thus far no nasties. I am not exactly sure what it is, but my card insurance covers me up to some phenomenal amount I could only ever dream of having in my account. Since the bank takes it direct and anyway it is not that much, all I have to do is agree to renewal (now on line) and that is that.

I believe the majority of people travelling a lot do that, but my OH did it recently for the two trips to Cambodia as though for the hols although, ironically, her CA Mastercard seems to function in very few countries whatever they say.

Yeah but that's the point I was trying to make Imre. It's normal usage for you but not for Joe Public who probably rarely ventures out of his country of domicile. This is the reason the banks like to know where you are so they know the card is not being fraudulently used & mitigate any potential loss.

Hehe... I meant I am using my card in person in many countries all the time. :-) So the bank wants to know where to now, and this is a bit of inconvenience.

To my best recollection in Canada the card fee included an insurance so if anyone skimmed the card, it was the insurer's problem, not mine.

Well I didn't ! I Actually said:- "I don't understand why anyone wouldn't tell their bank they will be using their cards in another country." which is a hell of a lot different to paying someone in another country using online facilities.

Who said charges from another country are outside normal usage (for me anyway)? Maybe inside the same country for a whole week, that might be strange :-)

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't tell their bank they will be using their cards in another country. With all of the card theft/ cloning going on plus I/D theft I'd be pretty miffed if my bank authorised payment on my card outside of it's normal usage without my authority. Not long ago I tried to pay a garage bill for 900 plus euros & the payment kept getting refused. It wasn't until I phoned my bank from the garage I found out that the garage had mistakenly added one extra digit & the bank had refused to pay the bill which I had failed to notice was now apparently for 9,000 plus euros . Good service I say :-)

Best to give them a call i think.

Germany is a terrible place for any kind of card payments. You have to keep bundles of euro notes, much like Sicily. About the only places you can pay by card in both areas are on the motorways and huge supermarkets. And you can hardly find LPG there too ! Which is the cheapest fuel and why we bought a Sandero (and also cause we didn't have more loot for anything dearer)

The other week in Berlin that is what she used without any problems. Crédit Agricole are simply weird!

I have been using a Crédit Agricole MasterCard from Canada to Nepal and everywhere else - but only after I found a personal contact at the branch and I tell her every time where I go.

It is not the service, it is the name unfortunately - my customers are not my pals.

We have been unable to use our Credit Agricole Mastercard in Germany and we were told that it was because the outlets did not accept Mastercard. Jim now has a Visa card and I keep my old one.

Crédit Agricole appear to be the most useless imaginable bank. My wife uses them, not I. This year she has had four foreign trips for work and two for family visits. They issued her with a MasterCard card. It neither works for purchases/payments nor cash withdrawals in various countries, including one of France's neighbours. She has complained several times to which they have replied it is her card, but then they have done nothing about it. However she knows other people who have the same problem. I have no idea why, but despite this nonsense she has not changed bank.

I try not to use PayPal or WorldPay whenever I can, however both offer quite similar service and neither is unprofessional. Over the years PayPal has actually improved and the way it was 15 or 16 years back when they first set up and wanted a proper account that was not optional as it is now and did not at that time take debit or credit card payments is over and done with. Both have become generally reliable. I have had no glitches for about a decade although we sometimes read negative comments about both.

Thanks Jane... can you tell me something about the costs of the service (just roughly, in relative terms)?

We use WorldPay for our on line credit transactions for our gite.

We chose them because we could get speak to them on the 'phone and they were very helpful and they are the merchant account behind many large organisations, although their name will not appear.

Look at their website for info..

Strange that you say that Paypal does not look professional, it is the safest most practical payment system so far????? I buy quite a lot on line but only from sellers who accept Paypal.