It seems like there has always been an issue with South Africans trying to stay ahead in the Internet Business game. This issue is the one of having a way to accept online payments from clients. In most other countries in the world you have always had a multitude of options, but we always struggled along trying to find one option. Recently though a lot more companies have come to light.
Although I don’t personally use most of them, in one way or form I’ve had to work with every one of the following. I do a lot of web development work, and 80% of the time a payment solution is also required. Due to this I’ve had to implement most, if not all, of the payment gateways that are available for South Africans. Every one of them has their upsides and their downsides.
This is one of the first payment gateways I had to integrate with a website for a client. What I liked about this was that it provides a simple and secure interface for the client to fill in their credit card details, and then they get directed back to your site for your software to process the order. You are also able to customize the interface using your own logo, so that it feels to the client that they never leave your site.
VCS also offer recurring credit card payments, which makes it ideal for membership sites. The last time I checked, you still needed to have a special Standard swipe payment gateway Bank account to be able to use VCS.
Setcom / Monsterpay
Setcom was one of the first PayPal-type payment gateways in South Africa that I knew of. When I say PayPal-type, I mean that the purchaser had to also create an account with Setcom, before being able to purchase something from you.
We used this exclusively on our ITC Check website for quite some time. My biggest gripe was that we were losing clients due to people being too lazy to register for an account to be able to pay for their service. The other problem was that Setcom is always on the buyer’s side. This means that if a client has a problem with the product or service they received, Setcom would just refund their money. Sometimes without even consulting us.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to accept payments, I can recommend this service. If you’re just starting out, it also helps that there is no monthly fee associated with this account.
The reason we started using Netcash, was to have a debit order facility for our business, CM Computer Services. This is a great facility to have if you have monthly clients, as it helps with cash flow. There is a secure interface where you load up your client’s banking details, and then every month you enter the debit order details that needs to go off their account and into yours.
One client requested that we integrate their accounting system with Netcash’s debit order system. This was done and works seamlessly with their accounting software. Each month the accounting package would just “tell” Netcash how much to withdraw from each client’s bank account.
They then released their Credit Card Payment Gateway service as well. It was similar to VCS, with the distinct difference that you didn’t need a separate banking account. I think the same afternoon I learned about this new service, I signed up and integrated it into our Credit Report site. The integration was done easily, and we haven’t had problems with them since day 1.