The domestic retail payment landscape today is a breeze for vendors, merchants, and consumers. The numerous payment options are only becoming more convenient, and more secure, as time goes by. Consumers can pick and choose between e-payments, good old-fashioned cash from a nearby ATM, checking accounts, direct deposit, debit card, and, of course, the ubiquitous credit card. And don’t forget the burgeoning mobile payment technology that now puts your funds right on your wrist. Not to mention cryptocurrency — which, come to think of it, is not yet all that reliable nor secure either domestically or abroad.

Which leads directly to the challenges faced by overseas payments; both payments being made and payments being collected. When a company in the United States is dealing with any of the European Union countries, payments are pretty straightforward — there is no longer a welter of wire transfer confusion or paperwork involved. But with Great Britain due to exit the EU anytime in the near future, and with the countries of Africa and Asia, not to mention Russia and the deteriorating economies of South America, the hoops are still up and getting narrower that merchants, vendors, and consumers must jump through in order to get a payment made overseas or to receive the same from overseas.

The world is growing smaller each day, when it comes to financial give-and-take. Most retailers will have to deal with international payments at some point, and so it’s vital that they understand the mechanics of EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer.) This is still the standard practice in making and receiving international payments, with each country in the world having its own country code (ISO code.) With that code and a private pin number and password any amount of money, from a hundred dollars up to several million, can be sent from one country to another in a matter of hours.