How To Receive Payment Online

Written by NaijaEcash

Topics: Entrepreneur, small business

Are you a newbie online Entrepreneur having no clue how to get payments for your online business activities? If you are getting confused with terms such as Merchant Account, Payment Gateway, Third Party Payment Processor and wondering what that has to do with collection of payment for goods and services you render, this post is meant to help you. For well established online entrepreneur, you may find some useful tips in addition to what you already know.

I often receive emails from my readers (especially those from Nigeria) asking for help on how to open a PayPal account or a US bank account. Reading through some of the requests, it is obvious that those asking for help do not even fully understand what their needs are and as such often ask for solution that does not fit their need. So, I will start with a little explanation on what an online entrepreneur requires to collect payment online and then make suggestions on how even a Nigerian Entrepreneur can collect payment online.

Collecting Payment Online
Once you offer products or service for sale online, it is important that you have in place an easy way that your would be customer can pay you for such product or service. However, the system of receiving payment online will largely depend on the kind of customers you deal with and the kind of product/service you offer. Let’s look at some practical examples.

  • My web hosting company NAIRAHOST is owned by a Nigerian and I pay for their services with local currency (Nigerian Naira), by using the banking facility provided in Nigeria. It is smooth and convenient for me. However, their customers outside Nigeria pay with dollars using Credit Cards or PayPal.
  • Of recent, I bought a Toshiba Laptop from BestBuy. The payment was made using a US bank issued Credit Card (this was done on my behalf by a friend).
  • Last week, I paid for a heavy industrial equipment worth several thousands of dollars. Even though the company is online, payment was made via secure Bank Telex Transfer because the amount involved was huge.

From this simple examples, you can see that one payment option may not fit all situations. The nature of your business activities plays a major role in determining what Payment Option your customer will consider suitable. So the first question to ask is; How do my customers want to pay? While there are several payment options such as:

  • Paper Cheque – A paper cheque is written and mailed to you. Not the most convenient or timely option.
  • Wire Transfer (Bank Telex Transfer) – Most suitable for huge amount of money. e.g local bank to a foreign correspondent bank.
  • Credit Cards – Most suitable for any amount of money. eg. MasterCard, VisaCard
  • E-Payments – Highly convenient for small amount of money. eg. E-Gold

I only listed the various options, but time will only permit us to look at just one. So, I will focus on the most common option, being credit card payment.

 

Credit Card Payments
Statistics have it that 90% of all online sales get settled through credit cards. So if the customers want to pay with their credit cards, you must put in place a facility for accepting credit card. It is a fact that for you to do business with consumers in the developed countries, your online business must be able to accept credit cards as a form of payment. To accept Credit Card payments, you will need to obtain either a personal merchant account or use the service of a third party processor.

What is a merchant account?
This is a special account provided by a bank or financial institution that enables an entrepreneur accept customer Credit Cards and other electronic payments via an e-commerce website. Simply put, it is a special kind of bank account. The process of getting a merchant account can be simple or rigorous depending on the kind of business activity the entrepreneur is carrying out online.

Third Party Credit Card Processors
If your business is small and your monthly turnover is less than five thousand, you may not need to bother about getting a personal merchant account. You can actually start collecting payment online by using the service of a third party Credit Card Processor. When the business turnover grows, you can then obtain your own merchant account. Let look at examples of affordable Third Party Credit Card Processors you can use.

PayPal
This is the most famous of them all. PayPal is a simple and affordable payment solution for new online entrepreneurs. It safes you the high cost and stress often associated with getting a merchant account. Also, PayPal offers different solutions to Online Entrepreneurs. We will take a look at three of them.

  1. PayPal Website Payments Standard: Your customers are afforded the option of payment with Credit Cards or Paypal. The transaction is processed on PayPal secure server.
  2. PayPal Website Payments Pro: Almost the same with above, but the customer does not leave your website at any time. It is quite similar to having your own merchant account.
  3. PayPal Email Payments: This is the most common one. You simply open an account with PayPal and request your customers to pay you using your PayPal account details. This is sufficient for small online businesses who receives payments that are less than a thousand dollars per transaction. However, it is advisable and financially wise to upgrade to either of the two options mentioned earlier as soon as possible.

Advantages of using PayPal: PayPal is about the most popular payment options available online today. It is easy to open an account and the processing of transactions is quite fast. Also, a great number of consumers from the developed nations use PayPal.

Disadvantages of using PayPal: PayPal is not available to entrepreneurs residing in some countries, for example Nigerian Entrepreneurs residing in Nigeria are not allowed to open a PayPal account from Nigeria. Beside this, many former users of PayPal claim that your account can get frozen for a number of reasons and you stand to loose whatever amount of money you have in the account. This can be scary for an entrepreneur. Before choosing PayPal it is advisable that you read reviews on websites such as www.PayPalSucks.com

Note: I am neither promoting nor discrediting PayPal. I use it but cautiously. Also note that the account I use was NOT opened from Nigeria (don’t fall prey to scammers who promise to open PayPal for you in Nigeria. A quick trip to PayPal.com will show you that Nigerians are not accepted for now. If you use a dubious way to open as a Nigerian Entrepreneur who is residing in Nigeria, you stand a higher risk of getting your account frozen).

AlertPay

AlertPay
AlertPay is an online payment service similar to PayPal. It provides individuals and businesses the ability to send and receive payments online without exposing their personal or financial information. The service is being provided by a Canadian privately owned and managed company founded in 2004. It is a rapidly growing leader in online payments. AlertPay offers several options:

AlertPay Personal Accounts

  • Personal Pro Account: If you want to sell something online and you need to get paid in a hurry the Personal Pro Account is the way to go. It gives you the flexibility to send and receive payments and do business using your name. You can open a free account in less than 5minutes by clicking here.
  • Personal Starter Account: If you are skeptical or not sure of where to start, use this option. The Personal Starter account is the ideal account to shop online safely without exposing your financial or personal information. It affords you the opportunity to get cash from your friends and family or send payments online for FREE.

Advantages of opening an AlertPay Personal Account:
1. No cost to send or receive payments
2. Accept numerous payments options.
3. Access to AlertPay Business Tools
4. Free for shoppers
5. Shop online without exposing your financial details.
6. Highly Secure.

AlertPay Business Account
If you own a business and you operate it using a unique business name different from your personal name, then an AlertPay Business account will be a good choice. It is tailored to meet all the needs of your online business. You will have access to numerous online business tools that will help your business grow online.
Advantages of opening an AlertPay Business Account:
• Conduct business under your company name
• Low transaction fees per transaction
• Accept Credit Card payments
• Sub accounts: Manage multiple online businesses with one account
• Website Payments: Buy Now Buttons, Subscriptions and Recurring Payments
• Business Tools: Integrate AlertPay into 3rd party applications
• Mass Pay: Send out payments to groups of people

Naturally, I love AlertPay because they allow online entrepreneurs from all over the world to open an account, Nigerians inclusive.
Note: I maintain an account with AlertPay and participate in their referral program.

There are other third party payment processors like 2Checkout.com, moneybooker.com, ikobo.com etc. But time and space will not permit that I talk about them now. Maybe I will discuss some of them in future post. Wishing you success in your online ventures. See you at the top. Cheers.

Update: Please note that AlertPay was bought over by Payza in March, 2012. Payza offer the same service AlertPay was offering and much more.

149 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Rekeson says:

    Alertpay better resolve these issues on time. I dont know y they always treat nigeria like shyt

  2. I have this believe that AlertPay systematically decided to prevent Nigeria from using their services directly to withdraw funds because of fraudulent activities linked to Nigeria. You should know why Nigerians are treated like shit by these foreign payment processors. It’s is because of the high rate of 419 scam associated with many Nigerians. These cyber criminals are already spoiling business for genuine and legitimate cyber users in Nigeria. It’s terrible !?!

    • NaijaEcash says:

      This is unfortunate. I hope we won’t get cut-off the way PayPal cut-off Nigerians. It is pathetic to note that while some Nigerians are struggling to do legitimate business online, there are some bad eggs who think the only option they have is to defraud! Let’s hope AlertPay reconsider their stand.

  3. Dave says:

    I am getting ready to launch a very lucrative product that would benefit lots of Nigeria but my immediate problem is how to get payment in Naira (online). I don’t know why this seems all clustered up in Nigeria, even Ghana has a very simple domestic payment processor and my question is WHY can’t we?
    Dave´s last blog post ..May 27, Add Your Stuff – Nigeria Free Business Directory

    • Interswitchc, eTransakt and Govt e-payment Policies Sucks !
      Nigeria things are always upside down.
      We take meaningful simple foreign policies, ideas and initiatives and embed it with politics of dissuasion and greed and we force it down the masses throat using the monopoly tool

      eg: Lagos tollgates, LCC, Interswitch collecting Customs duty, Payment Processing companies charging extra money per domestic transaction, while your Bank still charge you COT and VAT on COT etc.

  4. lillian says:

    thank guy u are the best

  5. egan says:

    This is a great opportunity to learn and do business with Nigerian Entrepreneur.Lets go.
    Egan,Calabar

  6. I still believe there is a whole lot of valuable information on this post even though its been long published.I wish we could hold paypal into account for blacklisting Nigeria.
    Emmanuel Ayeni´s last blog post ..DANA PLANE MISHAP : SOLACE AND CONDOLENCE FROM THE WEAVER

  7. Sola says:

    Hello. The AlertPay option sounds good for Nigerians. However, do sites like Click bank and Pay dot com make transactions with affiliates via that medium? If they don’t, what other third merchant (sorry if that isn’t the right phrase) can be used? Thanks.

  8. onyebuchi says:

    how can i put shopping cart to my site? somebody help please i mean for multiple payment solutions

  9. Libstore says:

    pls wat kind of business can i use alert pay for? Can i use alert pay for Google Adsense programme?

  10. Carson says:

    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are
    a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same
    niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on.
    You have done a marvellous job!
    Carson´s last blog post ..Carson

  11. Eddy says:

    Hello there,

    I want to pay for Facebook Ad as well as AdWords Adds for my Website and Facebook pages but I still can’t figure that out yet. I was advised to open a dollar (dormiciary account) which I did at Ecobank Nig. but now to my surprise there is no Debit card facility in this dollar account which I thought I would use directly to pay for my online payments. They only gave me a cheque book which sucks. So tell me friend, how do I go about this?????. Thanks for the receive payment online tips you offered, I think its great especially for me who is going into online business. Thank you! I need your reply Asap.

  12. Seno says:

    PLs I want to integrate Card Payment Option into my ecommerce site. D web developer said it ll cost me 300k. Pls can I get such service @ a cheaper rate? Thanks

  13. Richard says:

    I just sell books in my website, I want my customers to pay with their credit card. Please what is the easiest and fastest way for me to get my money directly from their payment

  14. kennymart says:

    through the use of bank wire withdrawal options in payza’ can I get my money directly to my local bank account?

  15. Tosin says:

    Please admin can you email me privately i need to inquire something from you its really urgent. I guess my email is attached to this site alread for privacy issue pls respond. Thanks

  16. MADU CHIBUIKE says:

    I want 2 be an enterprenur in business, pls i need help me

  17. Emmson says:

    How can i receive money from blog as a nigerian

  18. nuzzo says:

    Do you think it would be a good idea to get a verified PayPal from Auction Essistance?

  19. nuzzo says:

    Since nigeria still has some restrictions, do you think getting a USA PayPal from Auction Essistance can help bypass some of that?

  20. Okpah peter says:

    if i open alertpay account how can i link it to my local nigerian bank account so that i can always withdraw from my nigerian bank account

  21. Samuel says:

    Thanks

  22. Samuel says:

    This is useful. Will also want to know the payment platform/options within Nigeria online business environment. Thanks

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