The current liquidity crunch in the country has led to serious cash & foreign currency shortages. This has created an ever-growing need for businesses to explore other avenues of receiving payments so as to acclimatize them to the status quo. Subsequently, it’s the mobile payments & online payments fronts that have inevitably gained ascendancy. Evidently, mobile payments appear to be the most prevalent as they offer more ease & convenience for consumers & businesses. On the other hand, online payments are also steadily gaining traction as some businesses are actually accepting online payments.
In my observation, we still have very few online payments processors & gateways for the local Zimbabwean market & that could explain why most businesses don’t accept online payments. The other possible reason I observed is that many businesses don’t have a robust online presence i.e. having a good website that showcases their products or services. Integration of an online payments capability for your business normally gels easily if one has a website.
In this write-up I will discuss 3 ways or platforms that local businesses or individuals can use to enable them to accept online payments.
It is a platform that enables you to receive payments charging as little as 1.5% + 50c, depending on the payment method. It gives you the room to choose to either absorb transaction fees or to pass them on to your consumers. Paynow allows you to accept payments via Mobile Money (Ecocash, Telecash), Credit/Debit Cards (Mastercard/Visacrd) and VPayments. First of all, you sign up through their website and then you log in.
After logging in, you go to the Payment Bank Accounts Page. You then select which payment methods you would like to receive payment from. (Note: there is no need for prior registration with any of the providers responsible for those payment methods). If you have a pre-existing ZimSwitch Vpayments customer account, you can use it to receive Vpayments.
You can choose whether you want to receive payments into either one or multiple accounts. You’ll be required to enter the name of the financial institution & the bank account number. (Note: you enter the bank account number not the card number).
You then choose whether you either want to absorb transaction charges or passing them onto your consumers. This is, however, alterable if you want to later on.
After completing these steps, you will be redirected to the Ways to Get Paid page. By now, you would have already become a registered Paynow Merchant.
The ways to get paid are as follows (you choose your preference):
Email Payment Request
You will generate emails containing a button that consumers will click on to take them through the process of paying you.
Here you’ll copy an HTML code generated for you that you will paste onto your website. Once a consumer clicks on the button they will be redirected to Paynow so that they can make their payments to you.
A shopping cart can be hosted for you by Paynow. All you simply do is use a shopping cart to setup your products or services on your website then you copy & paste the HTML code generated for you.
3rd Party Shopping Carts
This is for when you already have an existing website with a shopping cart. You can link Paynow to your website.
You can get more comprehensive information on their website: www.paynow.co.zw
It is a payment solution for businesses that allows you to accept either online or mobile payments. To get started you have got to create a business account through their website. You can integrate your website with Pesapal API; this allows you to access all payments methods at one go (you don’t need to pay for this, it’s free).
You register by providing your business details so that you get an account & information that is essential to issues of integration. You then go on to activate your account by signing a merchant agreement. After that, you are good to go.
Your consumers can pay you using their credit cards, debit cards or mobile money. This can be done through:
Personalized Email Invoices
You can send personalized invoices through email to consumers containing a link that can redirect them to pay you through the available payment methods.
This is a page you can be given that you can integrate onto your website. Through that page consumers will be able to pay you.
You can get more comprehensive information on their website: www.pesapal.com
DIRECT PAY ONLINE
This platform provides merchants in Zimbabwe with safe & secure credit card processing services that enable them to accept online payments with credit cards, mobile money or bank transfers in real-time.
It’s mainly for travel-related merchants or e-commerce merchants e.g. hotels, airlines, travel agents etc, who can open an account with them. The business must comply with credit card companies’ standards & regulations, as well as Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards.
You can get more comprehensive information on their website: www.directpay.online
The world over, Paypal seems to be the dominant player, yet more players have stepped onto the scene. Locally we are still to see many players occupying the space for enablers of online payments. I personally submit to you that this is actually a prospective area of business interest that people can take up. Online transactions & the need for platforms where businesses can receive online payments from consumers is undoubtedly going to grow, therefore it’s imperative that more players occupy the space.