How African Entrepreneurs Should Choose a Payment Service Provider

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As an African entrepreneur launching your startup business, you’ll need to choose a payment service provider (PSP) that offers the services you require for accepting digital payments. Owners of online businesses will need an integrated solution that accepts payments via a variety of global and local payment methods and currencies. The PSP you choose will need to be affordable and scalable to meet your changing needs as your business grows.

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Here’s exactly what you should look out for when choosing a payment service provider:

An easy, fast solution

Choose a PSP that offers a simple, quick setup process, so that you can get online and start selling as fast as possible. The PSP should offer a comprehensive service that integrates easily with your website and is intuitive for you to manage. The PSP should allow you to accept multiple payment methods and currencies in a single integration.

In contrast to creating a payment page from scratch, using a PSP’s hosted payment page has many benefits.

Firstly, you save money, as there is no need for you to design your own page and integrate multiple payment services yourself.

Secondly, a PCI DSS Level 1 certified PSP’s hosted payment page will use high-level security measures to keep customer data as safe as possible. This will also help you meet PCI DSS requirements without too much effort.

Global transaction capabilities

The beauty of an online business is that you can have customers from all over the world, in addition to customers from within your country and others within the African continent. In order for domestic and international customers to make payments on your website, you’ll want to a PSP service that includes:

  • Cross border payments – so that customers can pay from different countries.
  • Multicurrency payments – so that customers can choose to pay in their local currency.
  • Acceptance of international credit and debit cards – including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
  • A wide variety of alternative payment methods – including ewallets, bank transfers, and digital currencies.
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Mobile payments

Growing trends in the field of mobile payments means that more customers are enjoying the convenience of making payments through their mobile devices. Keep up with this trend by choosing a PSP that offers mobile payment methods, such as:

  • Mobile point of sale (mPOS) – an mPOS device is a tablet or smartphone with a special app that allows the device to be used as a point-of-sale. It’s a more convenient and less expensive alternative to the traditional cash register.
  • Mobile money – this option is popular with the unbanked population.  Users can deposit cash into their mobile money account, and then make digital payments using their mobile phones.
  • Mobile wallets – these mobile apps allow customers to store their payment details in one place, including bank information, credit card numbers, loyalty programs, and more. When it comes time to pay, the mobile wallet can be used easily and quickly.
  • Email pay – so that you can send customers a link to your payment page by email, and they can pay at their own convenience.
  • QR code payments - allowing customers to pay you by scanning a 2D black and white QR code.

Fraud monitoring and risk management

Security is a priority for anyone accepting payments. In order for your business to be secure, you should choose a PCI DSS level 1 certified PSP. This certification ensures the PSP maintains the highest standards of security, keeping customer information safe and protecting your business from fraud.

A PSP should offer fraud monitoring and risk management tools that will help you guard against fraud by creating filters and analyzing transactions. Read our blog post about risk management methods to learn more.

Reasonable fees and a flexible settlement schedule

Expenses are an important concern for a startup. Find out about the fee structure of the PSP you choose - make sure that the fees are appropriate for your budget and cover the services you need, with no hidden costs. Read our blog post about fees for more information.

A flexible settlement schedule is also a huge benefit for a startup. A PSP may be able to offer you early settlements upon request, for when you need your funds a little earlier than usual. Another advantage to look for in a PSP is that they will deposit your settlement funds wherever you want – for example, your bank account, mobile wallet, a prepaid card, or PayPal account.

A scalable solution

The nature of a startup is that it starts off small, and with time it grows bigger. As your business grows, your payment needs will change, and the PSP should be able to accommodate these changes. Choose a scalable solution that grows with your business, so that you can continue using the same PSP as the number of transactions you process increases.

Choosing a PSP for your startup business might seem like a daunting task. Using the above tips, you’ll be able to find a PSP that will provide comprehensive services, at the right price, and will grow with your business.

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