Not so long ago I discovered that it is necessary for me, as a consumer, to have a Pesal account and as a result I wrote an article titled: Is it necessary to have a PesaPal account? But what’s the use of having a pesapal account if merchants don’t see the use of operating one so let’s now flip the coin and ask, Is it necessary for merchants to open up Pesapal accounts? Imagine yourself as business unit that currently accepts cash only, or, if you dare to be a bit different, you have managed to register for the Lipa na M-PESA platform, do you think PesaPal can be of any help to your business?
The obvious answer is yes otherwise Pesapal wouldn’t be in business in the first place. Let us examine some of the reasons that should lure you as a business man or woman into opening up a Pesapal Account as a platform to receive payments.
- Digital bragging rights
- Global market place – you never know.
- Ability to join the e-commerce world
- Ability to efficiently manage payments made to your business
Digital bragging rights
In this day and age it is important for your business to have a digital face, after all we are led by a government that prides itself of being digital. In Kenya the digital branding is so important that it made Jubilee win the last general elections. And by digital I do not just infer to managing your books of accounts by use of accounting software such as Sage, Pastel or Quick Books, installing digitized Points of Sales, CCTV cameras and a chunk of other digital gadgets in your business premises but by going a step further and striving, just as Jubilee government, to go cashless.
Is your business operating a cash-only policy? What then do you do when a customer wants to pay via Visa or Master card or even via M-PESA? Do you ask them to go and withdraw the cash to come back and pay before you provide the merchandise? I promise you, if you ever ask a customer to go look for cash s/he would surely go for good.
Now that you are thinking about it, do you want to install the credit card readers in order to accept credit cards too? No you don’t need to. What you need to do is just open up a Pesapal account and let your customers pay to Pesapal and Pesapal will do the rest on your behalf. What you can do is to avail a comp or two from where customers who want to pay either via cards or M-PESA can access the Pesapal services and conclude the transaction.
Pesapal will not just enable you accept many payment options but will also add a quality image to your business. Consumers have a tendency of developing trust and loyalty to business units that have incorporate top notch technology solutions to their businesses, and once they realize there is no additional cost associated with such technological adoptions, they become loyal for life.
Global market place – you never know
You also need to give your business a global face, and the best way is to be online. It’s okay to put up a website so anyone from any part of the world can access information about your shop. Assuming that a curious person in Vietnam has been looking for your unique mitishamba concoction that you recently advertised online via your website, and he has expressed interest in buying it, how would he pay for it if you only accept cash?
Pesapal will not just allow you to accept several payment options but will also allow you to accept payments from anyone no matter where they are in this global village.You never know, Pesapal might just transform your small business into a huge multinational enterprise in no time.
Pesapal allows you to join the e-commerce bandwagon
I have already mentioned that if you have a Pesapal account, you can as well start accepting payments from anyone anywhere and arrange to send merchandise to the customer via courier services. The beauty of Pesapal does not end there. In the list of services Pesapal offers to businesses, they have included this beautiful free addition – Simple Selling. Under simple selling they explain:
Pesapal allows you to list products to sell without the need to own a website or the technical ability, and give your customers the option of paying using MPesa, Airtel Money, Visa, MasterCard and other extensive payment methods available.
Upload your products on your merchant account and start selling immediately without need for technical know-how
Get all transactions in one place irrespective of which payment methods, with ability to export to Ms Excel
Facebook App Add-on
Allow your customers to buy directly from your Facebook page using the PesaPal Simple Selling app
That is, if you have been wondering how to start selling online and you don’t know whether you should create own website for e-commerce, or pay a handsome amount to web developer to transform your info-based website into an e-commerce portal, you simply can start off by creating a Pesapal account as a merchant, list your products in your account, and start selling online – including selling via Facebook. It’s that simple, just create a pesapal account and you are already an e-commerce vendor…just like that.
It is important to be able to manage your payments
One critical disadvantage of cash based payments to merchants is that it is quite impossible to account for all payments made. One way to have one hundred percent certainty that your cashier hasn’t stolen from you is to either bother the customer or employ too many people to oversee a single transaction. Restaurants for instance would require a customer to make payment to a cashier and later show the stamped receipt to an “auditor” by the door. The other method some businesses have adopted is to have one person write the receipt and a different person receives the payment. These methods however do not prevent the different employees from colluding with each other to cleverly walk away with a given amount of cash after every sales day.
To totally avoid incidences where you are robbed of your hard earned cash (most of the time the hard work is done by the employees), you need to go cashless. I understand that very few customers will be in a position to pay for your services via means other than cash as close to 100% of customers still pay via cash, but you can start by encouraging people to pay via cards through PesaPal or Lipa na M-PESA. The advantage of Pesapal is that you won’t need to invest in card readers and related technologies.
Are those reasons not sufficient for you to consider opening up a Pesapal account? If not then consider going through those provided by Pesapal themselves in their website under the Business section as follows:
One contract, All payments – Your business can accept all popular electronic payment methods under one contract that follows International SLA’s.
You will be enabled to accept global payments – With Visa and Mastercard, accept payment from anyone with a Credit or Debit card
Your money is safe – Your money is held in a trust account by pesapal’s bank partners to ensure safety and timely settlement
All transactions in one place – You will be able obtain all of your transactions in one place irrespective of which payment methods used, with ability to export them to Ms Excel
SMS & Email reminders – You can send free Email and SMS Reminders to customers reminding them to pay and therefore reducing churn
Buyer Protection – You will be able to use Pesapal’s Buyer Protection Escrow Facility to ensure that the goods or services promised are as advertised.
I like the buyer protection service. In the article Six reasons why we must popularize bitcoins in Kenya there is a paragraph that reads:
Then to enhance confidence in Kenya’s e-commerce landscape, the online markets like OLX and Fargo Shopping can adopt the Escrow and Dispute Resolution Systems as are being implemented by LocalBitcoins.com. The escrow system is whereby once the seller, let me call him Bob, has agreed to sell bitcoin to someone I will call Alice, LocalBitcoins.com deducts the amount to be sent to Alice from Bob’s wallet and holds that amount in Escrow Service. The amount is held until Bob confirms that he has received whatever it is he was to get from Alice, then the bitcoins are released to Alice.
As you already understand, the greatest challenge you will face by trying to sell your merchandise via Pesapal’s e-commerce offering is to overcome the trust obstacle. Most customers won’t be willing to pay upfront – so how would you trust that the customer will effect payment if you send them the goods in advance of payment? Well, you can simply tell your customers that the payment is done to Pesapal, but once Pesapal confirms to you that your payment has been received, you can release the goods to the customer and later Pesapal will release your money to you.
I know that now you are fully convinced to operate a Pesapal Account as a business man or woman. The reason I want you to speed your fingers and visit Pesapal.com to open that account is because since I opened my account after discovering the beauty of Pesapal as a consumer, I realized there are very few merchants who have Pesapal accounts from whom I can buy from. If I can’t use my pesapal account simply because you, a merchant, doesn’t have one, then what’s the use of speaking of the beauty/necessity of pesapal? It’s true, pesapal is beautiful in many fronts.