As first noted on, the recent Q4 X-Border Payments Optimization Index showed that in 2016, American merchants beat the rest of the world once again. Reporting a high score of 67.8. U.S. merchants came in first with China (66) and the U.K. (65) rounding out the top three. The global average was 58.

According to the study, in-depth research was conducted on 212 merchants based in 10 countries, out of which 197 qualified for the analysis. The Optimization Index is a proprietary measure that measures a variety of factors, scoring each country on these factors, culminating in a composite score with a maximum of 100. Almost 60 attributes were evaluated for each ecommerce site, covering details related to shopping, shipping, payment, information access, pricing, security, ease of use, support, and time and effort required to check out. The countries evaluated were Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

The Optimization Index also revealed that Spain is an up-and-comer in the x-border race as Spanish merchants improved the checkout process by cutting down the total number of clicks and pages involved. From Q3 to Q4, Spain also reduced the average shopping time from 3 minutes to 2.8 minutes.

China is leading the way when it comes to offering products and services in different languages. The report identified that 3 percent of Chinese merchants offered six or more language options. Heavyweights like the U.S. and the U.K., for example, lagged far behind.

Data from Research and Markets indicated that global business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce is expected to experience double-digit growth into 2017 and cross-border commerce will undoubtedly play a huge part in it. Interestingly, cross-border commerce is limited only to the size of the globe itself, yet merchants seem ill-prepared or even reluctant to seize opportunities. Challenges for merchants to compete in an increasingly competitive field like this will be numerous, but digital storefronts are expected to adapt.

Conversely, while customs charges, higher shipping costs, and longer delivery times are still challenges facing many global shoppers, the potential for greater product availability, product integrity and authenticity as well as better price options keep global consumers coming back for more.


If you need help staying competitive in today’s global marketplace, NMA is ready to guide you to success, making your payment process easy while eliminating unnecessary fees and keeping your costs down. Contact us today for more information!