Gone are the days when customers had no choice other than to go through the hassle of making direct payments into a merchant’s bank account for a successful order. Now, with the availability of online payment processors, customers can place orders right from their homes, once they are connected to the internet. Merchants yet to embrace the online payment method are throwing a lot of money out the window.
But not all payment processors are built equal.
While there are a plethora of payment processors to choose from, some of these payment processors are designed for small scale businesses while some are designed for established businesses. I give a rundown of the 5 best processors, as well as their strengths and weaknesses to guide you in making the right choice for your business. My benchmarks for accessing each processor is ease of use, website integration, ability to undertake local and international transactions, timely processing of transactions, Cost of procuring service and if they have affiliate opportunities.
Interswitchs Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) switching application, supports major networks including Verve, Mastercard, and China Union Pay, besides other proprietary networks. The infrastructure is based on open-system architecture and uses relational database technology, offering clients portability, and reliability as they expand.Our open-systems architecture reduces/eliminates the considerable expense, of paying for proprietary hardware, software, and PCIDSS compliance.
My verdict: 4 stars (٭٭٭٭)
Pros: Interswitch is an established platform with international links and has been in this game for a long time. Their network is robust and is used by most other payment portals. If you are a top-tier company whose ranks fall within the same space as Jumia or Microsoft, then this is the platform for you. Also with this option, customers can pay for you services from anywhere: ATMs, computers, mobiles etc. Also they process payments in a timely manner, and money made reflects in your bank account.
Cons: Very Expensive. Not designed for the small business. Their setup fees alone start from N150,000 with 1.5% fee on each transaction to a maximum of N2000 (as of the time of writing). Their cheapest plan, Quickteller basic, has a setup fee of 16,500 and a percentage deduction of 3.5% on every transaction made. Unless you are an established business with a high rate of turnover, this is not the platform for you. No affiliate program. So you can’t make money by recommending them.
GTPAY is a one-stop, safe, secure and convenient web payment solution that enables merchants receive payments from both local and international payment cards.
My Verdict: 4 stars (٭٭٭٭)
- International Acceptance: GTPAY accepts both locally and internationally issued cards including Interswitch, MasterCard and VISA.
- Timely transaction processing and reporting: Merchants get value next day after transaction takes place.
- Reduced sign-on fee: GTPAY integration fee is waived for merchants, so you don’t need to pay a developer to integrate the platform for you, unlike Interswitch.
- Very expensive. Setup is N150,000 (as at time of writing).
- A noted preference for GT Naira card. I have noticed that e-commerce sites that use GT Pay accept GTB Naira mastercard easily than other cards. For some other banks, if you don’t have internet banking activated, it will be extremely difficult to pay with GT Pay.
- No Affiliate program.
- Simple Pay
Simple Pay allows any business or consumer with an e-mail address and a bank account to securely, conveniently and cost-effectively send and receive payments online or through their mobile phone. Their network provides a global, real-time merchant transaction processing solution. SimplePay for merchants is ideally suited for small businesses, online merchants, individuals, and others currently underserved by traditional payment systems.
My Verdict: 5 stars (٭٭٭٭٭)
- Ideal for small businesses. Registration is free. With rates of 1.5 per transaction, they are affordable for the small business owner.
- They charge all types of cards, local or international. So you can accept payments from Nigeria and beyond.
- Sales Reports. This way you know just how much you have sold in real time.
- The processor with the most plugins developed for different platforms like wordpress, joomla, woocommerce etc.
- An Affililate System: They reward their affilates with N125 per verified account. So you can also make money by recommending them.
- Integration Costs: Unless you have some knowledge of programming languages like HTML, you might need to hire a programmer to integrate their platform on your website. If you decide to contact them to do that, you have to pay them for such a service.
- Cash Envoy
Cash Envoy is like the Nigerian version of Paypal; it allows account owners to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility of payment using their bank accounts and debit cards. It is safe because account holders will not have to expose account details on the numerous websites they do business on. Convenient, because users don’t have to carry about cards to process transactions. Apart from using it to pay for goods and services online, it can also be used to donate money for a cause.
My Verdict: 4 stars (٭٭٭٭)
- The only independent payment platform I know that is approved by Central Bank of Nigeria – BPS/PSP/GEN/PSM/02/010.
- No integration fees (as of the time of writing)
- Fast Settlement: According to them you get all funds generated from business transactions that same day.
- Relatively affordable: Transaction rates For Naira Cards: 2.5% + N12.60, maximum of N3500.For Int’l Cards: 3.9% + N12.60, maximum of N5000.
- No affiliate program
- Integration cannot be done by self, unless the merchant has some knowledge of programming knowledge. You must rely on them. A service they have warned might not be free in the future.
- Vogue Pay
VoguePay is a unique online payment processor whose vision is to offer buyers and sellers a secure and easy-to-use means of transacting business online.
VoguePay allows site owners to recieve payment for their goods and services on their website without any setup fee.
My verdict: 3 stars (٭٭٭)
- Vogue Pay has been around for a while and can accept money from local and internation cards
- Simple integration: You don’t need a developer. All the help you need is in their members area.
- Wonderful Affiliate system: They use a multi-tier affiliate system. So when someone signs up through your link, you will keep earning a percentage from every single sale the person makes on their website. And this will go on for 6 months before the affiliate duration expires. If you are also looking for a way to make money in your sleep system, this is one of it.
- High verification fee: You have to verify your business account before you can use it. And the verification cost N2500
- Everything is charged on percentage level. For people to buy your product you can pay up to 4.5% per transaction. For you to withdraw your money, you pay 1% per amount you are withdrawing. For transfer of funds, a transaction percentage of 1% applies. In the end, you are milked for every single transaction you can think of that you want to make using this payment processor.
So there you have it. The five payment processors any business in Nigeria should consider. If you have other suggestions, lets know in the comments. If you have a question, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I try to answer every mail I receive.
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