Back in 2014, we wrote a pretty popular blog post about the Payment Gateway solutions in UAE. But the e-commerce industry is changing rapidly in UAE and that means there is a lot of service providers when it comes to the most popular topic of e-commerce – “How do I collect payments”.
Before this, lets get the basics in place.
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provider service that authorizes credit card payments for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets.
Is it E-Commerce if you don’t collect payments online?
So why is it is important to have a payment gateway provider when it comes to an e-commerce website? Why can’t we just go old school and allow a customer to pay cash?
Although its easy to simply offer cash on delivery as a payment option, its a risk based business. This works out to be even worse when you do not have your own delivery fleet. Certain industries and products have a higher chance of a return when a end user receives it, which means that should you offer cash on delivery as an option – the cost of logistics and delivery is something the seller has to take on as a cost even if a user rejects to accept the delivery of their purchase.
Collecting payments upfront leads a seller to judge if a user is serious about the purchase, and also offers a confirmed sale where the chance of a cold return is much less. Finally, if a seller has a sensible return policy in place, they may choose to refund an amount after deducting shipping costs.
Alright, lets get to the part about the solution.
There are some great payment gateway providers in the United Arab Emirates, and on an international scale that can facilitate the collection of payments via credit cards for your online store. Here is a list;
Established in 1994, www.network.ae is perhaps the oldest established company in United Arab Emirates to allow third party processing for financial institutions. Network is more than a online payment gateway provider, they facilitate the transactions from POS terminals and many other such solutions are offered. Its safe to say that Network International prefers to work with established businesses and usually has a series of fees that may not support startup’s
Cybersource is an international firm which is part of VISA. Hence, the range of products and solutions offered by Cybersource go beyond the digital space. Should you need to use a solution that has a global reach, has partnerships with various acquiring banks, and can support enterprises and merchants in retail then Cybersource is worth looking into.
Perhaps the most popular solution for ecommerce merchants, Payfort offers a range of products and services too. Their core offering is the online payment gateway and they support startups and enterprises too. Startups can start with a zero setup fee, but pay a fixed monthly fee of AED 280. Rates start with as low as 2.8% per transaction and a fixed transaction fee of AED 1.00. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt in for the Fraud Detection Module, it’s an additional fee of AED 35.00 per month and a fixed setup fee of AED 135.00
Telr Innovate Payments
Innovate Payments was acquired by Telr in 2014 making is one of the best known startups of UAE. Innovate Payments have been around in the UAE since 2008. Being part of Telr now makes this payment solution provider a ‘sought after solution’. Telr supports over 120 currencies and offers various integration methods. There is an upfront payment to get started with Telr for ecommerce merchants, and if you do not choose that there will be monthly fee.
Checkout.com – not to be confused with 2checkout.com, is a UK based payment gateway provider that has operations in the Middle East. A well documented integration guide, lower rates for processing, great support and a lot of information on their website is how we see Checkout. Rates start as low as 2.75% per transaction and a fixed transaction fee of AED 0.75. The startup costs are a one time fee of about $500 and they provide a lucrative option for startups too.
CC Avenue is one of South Asia’s largest payment processing company which started in India. Recently in collaboration with Mashreq Bank, CC Avenue is gaining popularity fast. They offer a zero setup fee, but this makes other charges come in place. CC Avenue offers their services for a monthly fixed fee of AED 200 and rates start from 3.0% per transaction and a fixed transaction fee of AED 1.00. They have been in business in South Asia for a long time and hence have the necessary tools in place for fraud protection and security.
The story of a true startup itself is White Payments. A single enthusiast that took up a challenge for himself to create a better payment processing solution. With a few bumps on the way, White is still small but with big dreams. With no setup fees and no settlement fees, White has a fixed rate of 4.9% per transaction and a fixed transaction fee of AED 1.00
As of 29th June 2015, White Payments has been acquired by Payfort. Read all about it on an article on Wamda : Payfort acquires White to build dead simple payment solutions to startups
…so what else can be considered.
Paypal is always the solution that comes to mind first for anyone wanting to transact online. Rates for payment start with 3.4% and a fixed transaction fee of $0.30 per transaction, but the last we heard – Paypal does not transfer to a UAE bank account yet. As a user, you can still pay with your paypal account on any website accepting Paypal.
2checkout.com has been around for a while, and although they are not a credit card processing company, they offer solutions for accepting payments making them the vendor to collect payments on your behalf. They do transfer to a UAE bank account and rates start from 3.9% per transaction and a fixed transaction fee of $0.40
Regional payment processors are a great alternative too, some of these include Pay Tabs, Skrill, Hyperpay and CashU
As we described in our blog post previously too, there is a lot to do when you have a ecommerce website. A lot more needs to be done before collecting payments, but the part about making sure that our money rolls in is something that has prime importance. Choosing a payment gateway that supports your venture is important, but you must evaluate and choose the one that is most suitable for you.
Do not judge with the rate offered only, make sure you have asked questions about settlement fees, transfer fees, exchange rates, charge back rates, refund fees… etc