The challenges of online payment processing in the Caribbean

Many business owners in the Caribbean have developed websites, Facebook and Instagram pages in an attempt to reach their local clients who are increasingly connected online. The next logical step would be for those merchants to be able to accept payments for online sales directly. This is not such a big deal in many other parts of the world. In fact, eCommerce is a standard function of many owners of websites from developed countries.

Online purchases are growing throughout the world, with the United States and China been two of the global leaders amounting to over a trillion dollars in sales per annum. Caribbean merchants are slowly warming up to the benefits to be derived from having an online presence primarily of which, is the increase in sales conversions which would expand beyond local island customers.

Businesses having an online presence coupled with the capability to accept credit card payments within a few clicks of a mouse, can significantly impact the economies of small Island States in the Caribbean region. This can result in increased economic benefits in almost every sector of the economy; from Tourism to financial services,.

But while there are enormous benefits to be derived from eCommerce activities, current challenges create a strangle hold on this reality. From local banks been hesitant due to the perceived risks, to inadequate technological infrastructure, merchants oftentimes experience a difficult time establishing payment processing facilities online.

The Challenges of Online Payment Processing
While each individual Caribbean nation has banks that provide offline merchant services, only a few actually provide online payment processing capability. Local merchants have no choice but to use the services of US payment processors. These operate globally and provide the merchant account and the technology to integrate into a merchant’s website. The integration software aside, additional tools can also include tracking and analysis of sales.

Unfortunately, a merchant’s payment processing options are highly dependent upon the country where their company is legally registered. Most end up using established companies such as PayPal and Stripe. Wile many of these US payment processors don’t charge a set-up fee, the monthly charges and costs per transaction can be a bit high. This can significantly erode profit margins.

A crucial component which continues to fuel merchants’ frustration, is the inability to receive the proceeds of online sales in a timely manner. In the case of PayPal, when a request is made to withdraw money from your online wallet , it takes approximately 2 weeks for a physical cheque to be prepared and mailed. It takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks for this cheque to be cleared bank a local bank. As entrepreneurs, this situation is untenable!

What are the alternatives
Over the last few years, a few alternatives have emerged. Local banks have seen the importance of providing payment gateway services for its customers. Many of these have partnered with software developers, many of whom, are in fact companies emanating from North America.

In Caribbean eCommerce Solutions however, and through its flag ship product “Payinn”, a new player has come to the fore. Payinn offers a suite of payment gateway solutions that is specifically designed with the Caribbean entrepreneur in mind.

Payinn” facilitates the collection of credit card payments from anyone, anywhere online. The most exciting part is that your money gets deposited into your local merchant account.

Payinn” offers multiple payment methods to assist merchants globally with online payments through its extensive network of international acquiring partners that make it possible to accept recurring payments in over 200 countries and territories including; Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean region……Fast! Easy! Secure!

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