When Dealfish, Mocality and Kalahari, (the eCommerce ventures run by MIH Internet) shut down in Kenya and Nigeria, one of the contributing factors was the inability by their customers to pay for the services. The three were only accepting credit card payment.
The failure of MIH Internet’s eCommerce ventures in sub-saharan Africa might not be fully theirs to blame. The ability to adopt for the new idea of business faced a lot of challenges in 2011 a year just after the 3 ventures were launched in both countries. They key factors that led to this eCommerce failure being the internet penetration, lack of strong payment systems. It also did not help that few people in sub-saharan Africa trusted online commerce sites to have their services or products delivered when they made payments online.
That was in 2011 and a lot has changed in that span of 4 years. Mobile payment has grown beyond what most had predicted and international payment gateways such as Paypal have not established a local presence due to an increase in mobile and internet penetration as well as the increasing interest in e-commerce and online shopping being spearheaded by sites such as Jumia which is completely redefining online shopping in Africa and being able to make the breakthrough that evaded Kalahari.
As many young African Entrepreneurs look towards eCommerce as a new frontier, many still struggle with payment integration and development of their sites to accept all forms of payments including mobile money.
The online payment process is what determines whether an eCommerce venture makes it or not. The process needs to be transparent, easy to use and trustworthy.
PayPal’s ‘Request Money’ feature allows you to collect money for a sale or send a payment reminder to a customer. There are two options available when you log in to your account and click on the ‘Request Money’ tab:
- Create a Money Request
Simply fill out the form with the recipients email address, and they will receive instructions on how to pay you through PayPal. You can request money from several people at once by separating the email addresses with a comma.
- Create an Invoice
Invoicing works the same as creating a money request. However, with Invoicing, you can break up the total amount due into specific line items, including shipping and tax. Invoicing also allows you to create templates if you send many copies of the same invoice – allowing you to save pre-filled invoices for future use, instead of typing out each invoice. All you do is simply retrieve a template, edit any changed fields, and then send the invoice.
Getting paid is easier with PayPal’s request payment- no integration or development is needed! All is needed is to enter an email address and an amount, add a note that personalizes and explains the request and see the funds go quickly in the merchant’s account when it gets paid.
For a professional look, the request payment can be made via an invoice that can easily be created from the PayPal account.
This Product is Ideal for:- Hotel owners, Tour operators, Freelancers, Small businesses, Charities and Anyone needing an easy, professional invoice
Here is a short video that demonstrates how to use PayPal’s invoicing product. Sending an invoice is free; the merchant will pay the PayPal fees only when he gets paid.