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Keeping Your Business Safe: Navigating Compliance in Global Markets

By: Julie Rea
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When selling into new markets, compliance is one of the most complex obstacles a company will face. From data privacy laws to export rules and regulations, no two countries have the same compliance regulations. Rules change constantly, and each region has its own risks and nuanced considerations, particularly when it comes to delivering a premium customer experience. Taken altogether, it can be overwhelming. But the good news is you’re not alone.

As part of our ongoing Commerce Passport series, we recently brought a group of compliance experts together for a live, virtual event titled, Is Your Business Safe? Navigating New Compliance Trends. The event was sponsored by BORN Group and speakers included:

  • Keith Pires, Senior Vice President of Sales | BORN Group
  • Maggie Lassack, Privacy & Cybersecurity Counsel | Polaris
  • Julie Rea, Senior Director of Compliance | Digital River
  • Mike French, Vice President of Partnerships | Digital River

Here are the top insights our experts shared for how your brand can navigate new compliance trends when going global and how to simplify the process.

The event can also be viewed on-demand here.

The scale of the challenge

It’s hard to overstate the challenge compliance poses to global brands as the term spans an incredibly wide range of issues, including data privacy, data security, denied parties, marketing regulations and even money laundering. The penalties and legal ramifications for falling out of compliance can be severe. That’s why brands need to make sure they have the right technology, processes and people in place before selling into new markets.

The right technology

While the umbrella of compliance affects nearly every aspect of your operation (sales, finance, marketing, shipping, etc.), ensuring compliance almost always comes back to your technology. Keith Pires of BORN Group said he talks with clients on a weekly basis about compliance and starts by looking at their technology infrastructure today and what they’ll need down the road to achieve their strategic goals. He suggests looking at what parts of your technology fit within a global reference architecture (GRA) and can be used as foundational components for cross-border commerce as is, and which aspects need to be adapted and modularized. Pires said having the right technology in place is not only about the systems you use, but also how you structure your data.

“Your data lake, or data capture, has to be capable of being demarcated or segregated depending upon the specific issues you need to respond to in various geographies,” Pires said.

Consult with your vendors and your internal IT team to make sure they are aware of relevant regulations and have a process in place to update systems as laws change.

The right processes

Building a compliance group and enacting the right policies and processes starts by prioritizing your risks to see which kinds of issues (security, privacy, etc.) are most likely to put your business on the radar of regulators. It’s not that other issues aren’t important, it’s simply about taking care of your biggest risks first. These risks may be different for a B2C clothing company than they are for a B2B financial services firm. So, you need to review the most relevant regulations to your business and build a framework for operations around that while making sure that all of your processes are tailored to the specific geographies in which you operate.

“It’s context specific and for me and other privacy professionals to be effective as advisors, we really need to know what the business is trying to do and where the data is — where it’s coming in, what’s being used and stored, and where it’s going out,” Maggie Lassack said. “To do that effectively, we really need to be partners with the business.”

Above all, make sure you have an incident response strategy in place to respond quickly and mitigate negative impacts as much as possible should a compliance issue occur.

The right people

Staffing your compliance department with seasoned experts is an important start for any company looking to mitigate risk in global markets. But for even the largest companies, compliance is such an immense undertaking that few go it alone. Partnerships are critical for ensuring you stay compliant and keep both your business and customers safe.

“Having a strong partner that has global reach brings immense value to a company like BORN,” Pires said. “Partners can’t eliminate the complexity of compliance, but they can help you manage that complexity to protect your brand reputation and help ensure an outstanding customer experience.”

Look for partners that have a large global footprint but also have experience helping brands like yours in the specific markets you want to target. By building out your own technology infrastructure and internal processes, and then supplementing that effort with an experienced partner, you can protect your company and help ensure smooth entry into new global markets.

More expert insights

With experts this knowledgeable, it would be impossible to capture all their insights in one event. But not to fear. We taped a podcast immediately following our event in which they offer yet further strategies for ensuring compliance in the global marketplace. Listen to the episode below and then be sure to subscribe to Commerce Connect Podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.


To learn more about how to improve ecommerce performance for your global brand through billing optimization and machine learning strategies, register for our next event on Sept. 23 titled, Boost Authorizations and Optimize Revenue: Put Some Intelligence Behind Your Transactions.