Do not use CCAvenue for international payments. It does not work!

I wasn’t completely happy with PayPal and was always on the lookout for a real payment gateway.

I don’t remember how but on the fateful day of 23 May 2014 I ended up at CCAvenue and signed up under their Privilege Scheme. They have two schemes one where you do not pay any setup fees but pay higher in card processing charges, second is where you pay one time setup fee and pay less in charges. And the stupid fuck that I am I chose the other one. I paid the setup fees on 27 May. Rs. 37,415.88.

I wanted USD processing. I asked for it specifically before paying the setup fees. I confirmed it with one of their reps from marketing department.

And the fun began. I had to provide them a list of documents, 13 to be precise. Even the Indian government doesn’t ask these many docs to issue a Passport!

Any way I provided the documents and my account was activated, I came to know I can not process USD!

Then I was told USD has a higher charge than what was promised to me earlier. I agreed. USD was enabled.

But it did not have MasterCard only Visa and American Express!

I contacted compliance team and I was informed on that it would take 15-20 working days to activate MasterCard.

After a long wait, some tweets, few phone calls and emails later MasterCard was enabled.

During the integration I realised the USD wasn’t actually enabled, again after a few emails and phone calls that too was enabled eventually.

And finally I went live with CCAvenue.

And first transaction failed! Card bin stop listed was the error I got. I asked one of my US based friends to test a payment and again the transaction ailed with same message.

When I asked CCAvenue about that I was told they are blocking certain international banks for fraud prevention. Perfectly valid cards are being denied just like that! Blanket ban all in the name of fraud prevention!

Fortunately the customer whose transaction failed later made another transaction using PayPal and it went through.

I asked CCAvenue to disable the BIN check for my account at first they just told me to ask my customers to pay using some other card!

Anyway after some haggling over phones and emails and after I demanded a refund of my setup fees, they switched the acquirer for my account. Previous it was ICICI then they switched it to something else Electra or Citi may be. I asked my friend in the US to try paying again and this time the payment went through. I thought finally things have been sorted out so I put CCAvenue live again.

And in last 2 days 7 transactions have failed! Only 2 went through, one paid on the third attempt, the second one paid using AmEx after his first attempt to pay using Visa failed. Rest all paid successfully after I routed them to PayPal. So 2 months and 37000 in setup fees later I am still sending my customers to PayPal.

I really don’t know what to do at this stage. All I wanted was ability to accept payments from my genuine customers who happen to be based outside India. I was using PayPal and I thought India’s oldest and largest payment gateway will make things easier and cheaper for me. But all I have faced is troubles. And my money that I paid as setup fees is stuck.

I don’t know who is at fault here, is it RBI and it’s stupid rules? Is it the paranoid acquiring banks or is it CCAvenue?

Paulo Coelho said when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it, but it seems in India if you just wish to accept payments from international customers the Indian financial system conspires in stalling you!

Comments ( 5 )

  1. Adarsh
    Yash, I have been using 2CO for a while now. It works perfectly fine for me. The documentation is extremely minimal too. They have one catch though- they have certain industries classified as high risk. So they might charge you higher fees initially. However, once you have done a few months with them, you can contact them to prove your account is not risky and they will reset you to their 5.5% + 1 USD/transaction rate.
  2. Yash
    It's now $1 per transaction? Wow! I have used them in the past. Expensive compared to PayPal. I am paying 3.9% + $0.30 to PayPal, and I want to bring it down even further. Like really I don't have to pay a good chunk of my earnings just to process cards! Plus 2CO have this 5% retention and also charge for each wire transfer.
  3. Vineesh.C
    Looking for one good payment gateway for I already have ccavenue account, is this gateway better for indian customers?
  4. Tushar
    As you said . . It's not easy . . not at all. When I started using CCA, somehow I never wanted to use it for International transactions & hence, due to purely the success rate, ease of use + support, I am using PayPal for all other countries except India while kept on using CCA for India only. This works best as long as different product prices are set for International & domestic. Not sure if this problem will be resolved soon & for ever . . I suggest using similar pattern maybe,
  5. Michal
    Hello, I'm recently looking for a gateway for the India users and my research showed that CC Avenue and PayU biz are meant to be the best solutions in my case - our company (we're from Poland) wants to charge users from India in dollars. Do you know by chance if the problem you described still exists? Because if CC Avenue is so problematic I'll probably choose PayU biz. Do you have any information about this gateway? Are they solid? How about their customer service and configuration process?

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