jueves, 14 de febrero de 2008

PayPal alternatives in South Africa

We have had a number of clients inquiring about selling low-volumes of product on their websites recently, exactly the kind of thing PayPal would be perfect for.

Sadly for our South African clients, this really isn't an option thanks to our good friends at SARS (the South African Revenue Service).

South African's can set up PayPal accounts. They can pay money from their South African bank accounts into their PayPal accounts and they can spend that money as they choose, but they can't transfer any money paid into their PayPal account back into their South African account.

So, if you sell something on your site the money paid into your PayPal account will be utterly useless to you (unless you intend to spend all that money on locks of Britney Spear's hair, or napkins used by Elvis).

Fortunately there are alternatives and two we've heard a lot of positive talk about recently are PayFast and Setcom.

PayFast is only in Beta at the moment, so you may wish to hold back for the final version before signing up. The fee structure is as follows:
R1 - R25 000 2.00%
R25 000 - R100 000 - 1.80%
R100 000 - R250 000 - 1.60%
R250 000 - R1 000 000 - 1.40%

Setcom have a range of fees depending on whether your customer is paying by credit/debit card, setcom account, or various other services, and they promise
"payments (that) are made in real-time, quicker than bank transfers, checks, or money orders".

Most importantly, neither service charge monthly, setup or signing fees. So, you pay as you earn (something that SARS would encourage no doubt!)

We are yet to make use of either service, but will review them as and when we do.