How to Accept Nigerian Cards on your Website
One of the major dilemmas that Nigerian internet business people face is the issue of accepting cards on their website. While it is easier (and cheaper) to accept foreign based cards, options for accepting our own local cards (Interswitch, Verve, Naira Mastercards, Naira Visa Cards) online have not been so readilly available. Finally though, it seems the tide may be changing. Here were the major options available:
1. The standard Interswitch platform: The last time I inquired, Interswitch was charging a setup fee of N150, 000 for merchants to be able to accept Interswitch payments on their websites. Of course, this price is ridiculous, not to mention- stupid. It’s stupid because by maintaining such an amount (about $1000) for a mere payment gateway that is of little or no relevance outside Nigeria, they have been a major obstacle to the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria. They could also have made much more money by slashing the price…
2. GTBank and Other Banks: Based on my last findings, GTBank charges N75,000 as the setup fee for the Interswitch platform. While that is 50 percent of the standard Interswitch plan, I feel it is still too expensive.
But now, newer options have emerged. There is the Fastecash option (which has actually been in existence for a while). I think it costs around N7500 per year for a merchant account. I don’t use it because they seemed confused to me. They were offering bulk SMS (which would be competing with my own products) and yet would expect me to direct my customers to come and pay me through them? Besides, their system wasn’t exactly easy to understand.
There is NetNaira- which I haven’t tried at all. However, the ones that have really caught my fancy and given me hope are CashEnvoy and Eyowo.
CashEnvoy (www.cashenvoy.com) is free to setup and charges a small commission per transaction besides a fixed fee. I have used CashEnvoy and their support is great, though I must add that my clients seem to ignore it. My investigations showed that they are usually skeptical about having to register for accounts (even though free) with CashEnvoy. People usually want to pay fast- not fill more forms. It seems CashEnvoy has solved that problem of recent, though. I think it is no longer compulsory for users to register before they can pay through CashEnvoy.
The other option is Eyowo (www.eyowo.com). Eyowo gives the option of creating an invoice and sending to the customer or having the customer pay direct from your website. The customer does not need an Eyowo account to make a payment. A drawback is their setup fee (N6000). I think that this is still very reasonable though (as compare to the N50,000 I saw on their website earlier). They also charge a 1 percent transaction fee. I have been able to make a successful payment with Eyowo. I have also had cause to contact them via email and I recieved a response within 30 minutes. It seems that they have a good team and may be “Nigeria’s Paypal”.
So I guess it comes to this question: Which is best- CashEnvoy or Eyowo? The choice is yours.