This is the most integral part of online business. How are you gonna get paid?
Are the customers going to pay you through Cash on Delivery of the products, or are they going to pay you through debit or credit card onto your website?
I have seen many questions in these areas. When starting an online business, you must plan how you are going to take orders online.
The best method to do is to study which online payment gateway is suitable for you. There are dozens of a payment gateway that you can work with. These payment gateways will charge a set fee for the services and process the payments on your website through the your customer’s bank accounts.
Although, the online payments work universally and all over the globe, however, I can’t ignore the developing markets in this article.
So, let’s talk about them. In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, there is a huge population that still pays through Cash on Delivery. If your product is something that’s delivered and not a service, then please don’t ignore this market.
I have a decent experience in serving this market, and I can surely say that you must plan for a 10% returns, based on the notion of people not at home when the delivery arrived, incomplete address, and in some cases, the delivery guy being a jerk.
However, still this market is pretty decent in terms of numbers and you must not just do online payments but should also have cash on delivery mechanism in place, if you are serving such markets.
Here’s a list of salient online payment gateways can you can work with.
List of Online Payment Gateways in Pakistan
2. Easy Pay
4. MCB E-Gate
9. Blue Snap
Limitations & Issues with Online Payment Gateways in Pakistan
Since local online payment gateways in Pakistan are going through infancy stage of their business, you must expect some turbulence in your discussions with them. There are some payment gateways that are much proactive and appreciate your business, but some of them are simply lethargic.
The best way to mess up your Internet payment gateway application process is to apply through their website. Some of them are so laid back that you won’t hear from them for a month at least. Keep at least 1-3 months in hand if you happen to fill out their application forms online. Or you can find a human within their system and ask them for introductions. This would speed up the process for you and you might get away with the integrations within weeks.
HBL will take anywhere between 1 to 2 months from application to integration. Sorry guys! Some personal experiences of mine and my students are being reflected here. UBL is good but they show transaction in Pak Rupees to the end consumer.
Imagine, a US national buying a $30 kitchen accessories from your website and is being told that ‘Your payment of Rs. 4,500 is being paid to XYZ Private Limited, based in Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan’. That is certainly something that would raise alarm bells for the native US customer. This is how it is unless UBL fixes this with Eitisalat (UBL’s payment processor) and starts showing transactions in all international currencies.
2Checkout has a stringent application process, pretty simple and sweet but not all applications are approved. If you are doing drop shipping then forget about 2Checkout. They won’t approve your application. However, sky has not fallen and there always solutions. More on it some other time. By the way, this is the only payment gateway of class approved for Shopify if you are based in Pakistan.
Blue Snap is decent gateway that is an underdog to me. Their hosted solutions and API are pretty easy to integrate and you’ll fall in love with the sandbox. However, they might want to squeeze you on commission. Wear your negotiation hats on.
Stripe is my favorite payment gateway so far, because of it’s user interface but your business needs to be incorporated in one of the 20+ countries they serve. Not a barrier through. You may try getting an LLC in the USA but that’s a long shot, so focus on what you have available.
Just keep in mind that online payment gateways charge anywhere between 1 – 6% commissions of the sales they process. So, keep this in your accounting threshold.
One more thing there is that you must keep in mind. People normally don’t talk about it but this is a killer for your online business. Ask these payment gateways about the payment period and negotiate with them at your best. Blue Snap and Authorize.Net may tell you that you’ll receive payments in a 28-day payment cycle. So, you tell me can your business survive with such a payment cycle? If it can’t, try negotiating with them and they might agree.
Jazz, HBL and Easy Pay are quite good in this as they pay you the very next day your customer’s online payment is cleared. Keeping in mind that you will also be needing a consistent online marketing strategy without which your business is bound to crash.
Online Payment Gateways in India
6. CC Avenue
9. Blue Snap
11. Cash Free
12. Brain Tree
Some of the payment gateways in India are pretty good in responding to you in time, however, the same dead slow processes are prevalent here too.
I’ll share my experiences of interacting, integrating and selling in India in another post.
Till that time, keep exploring them and start conversations with them. You will definitely learn a lot by doing so, but never get distracted by slow processes in launching your e-commerce business.