Pay With Paywise

We have created a new signage to inform customers that merchants accept payments via Paywise. The logo can be included on the banner of the merchant’s Facebook page, in posts, and the website homepage. Merchants can place the signage where ever they think, it will best serve, to inform customers that payments are accepted via Paywise.

The signage is provided to merchants during the registration process.

The Payment Experience

After the first month, we don’t hear from our merchants. During the first month, calls are received and questions answered about the service. We answer questions promptly and, if need be, direct merchants to our blog for more information. After the first month, there is little or no interaction save and except for payment transactions.

The main issue encountered are customers asking the NLCB VIA Bill Payment agent to make a purchase to the merchant; not Paywise. The agent responds in the negative; there is no merchant payment option.

Merchants then contact us and we ask for the customer’s contact information. We contact the customer, explain what has to be said and walk him or her through the process. To avoid this issue, we provide merchants with payment instructions to give to customers.

Merchants, of course, can customize the instructions to their preferred wording.

Merchants are asked to contact us for any issue, especially customer payment issues. Also, customers may contact us using the phone number (223-9422) on the receipt.

As we shared with a merchant: We do not like when customers are unable to make a payment. That is not our promise in offering the service. Our goal is a frictionless payment process. Because at the end of the day it’s the customer experience that counts.

Paywise Checkout

As an alternative payment method, Paywise checkout process is different. The Paywise Checkout process described herein is for the Integrated Payment Method only. Paywise Checkout has three parts: payment selection, making the payment and payment confirmation.

Payment Selection

On the merchant website, the buyer places items into her shopping cart and proceeds to checkout. During the checkout process, the buyer may select from one or more payment options; Paywise is one of the payment options offered.

In the case where Paywise is the only payment method, the merchant may use the Paywise Checkout button.

paywise-checkout-128pxWhere Paywise is one of the payment methods offered, the merchant may use one of the Paywise payment buttons. See below.

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paywise-payment-128pxWhen any button is selected, the buyer is given instructions to make the payment. This may appear in a popup window, on a web page and/or emailed to the buyer. Typical Paywise instructions read as follows:

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Making the Payment

The buyer proceeds to an NLCB VIA Bill Payment agent and makes the payment.

Payment Confirmation

Paywise processes the payment and posts the transaction data to the merchant website. The payment is then applied to the relevant account or order by the merchant website. The merchant fulfills the order.

Merchants wishing to use the Paywise buttons may contact us at contact@paywise.co.

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Accept Credit Card Payments

strip-payoneerMany customers ask if Paywise offers credit card services. Unfortunately, we do not. However, we suggest that customers consider using Stripe and Payoneer to accept credit card payments. We thank Wesley Gervais of Hivesource for sharing with us how he was able to accept credit card payments online at minimal cost. You can read his article on the Hivesource blog. In our article, we cover the salient points.

Local banks offer online credit card payment gateways. Namely, Scotiabank, First Citizen Bank, Republic Bank and First Caribbean International Bank. However, they do not target the small- to mid-sized businesses. Knowing this, entrepreneurs turn to the popular payment services such as PayPal. However, PayPal does not work for businesses in Trinidad and Tobago. You could open an individual account but this account type is not suited for business.

Stripe and Payoneer, two international services, provide an easy and affordable means to accept credit card payments online. Stripe allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet. Payoneer provides online money transfer and e-commerce payment services. To setup your account:

  1. Open an account in Stripe. Stripe will ask for a US bank account.
  2. Open an account in Payoneer. Payoneer will provide a US bank account that is linked to a debit card. The debit card will be mailed to you. Your application will be processed within two days. Once the application is processed the US bank account number is issued.
  3. On the Payoneer dashboard click on the Global Payment Service option for the bank information.
  4. Add the Payoneer US bank account to your Stripe account
  5. Viola! You can now accept credit card payments

Integrate Stripe into your website and you are ready to receive payments. Payments received are processed by Stripe and then credited to your Payoneer bank account after 2 working days. Transfer the funds to a Trinidad and Tobago bank account or use the Payoneer card to meet your business expenses.

Caveat…while this approach works now, it is possible that Stripe and/or Payoneer may change their policies and the option may no longer be available.  

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Integrating Paywise

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Paywise can be integrated into any merchant website. Integration is optional and free of charge. To integrate Paywise a merchant must first register with us. Afterwards, the API documentation is passed to the merchant. This document shows the merchant’s application developer how to capture transaction data generated by Paywise.

The implementation process is simple.

  1. The developer incorporates the code in the merchant’s website
  2. Paywise performs test transactions
  3. The developer confirms the transaction data is being received and captured
  4. Afterwards, Paywise conducts live tests
  5. In the live test the entire payment process is tested; acceptance of payment at the LOTTO agents, processing of the payment by Paywise, capturing and processing of the payment by the merchant’s website
  6. Once this is successful the integration process is completed

During the integration process, we lend assistance where necessary to ensure the process is fast and easy. If need be, we can recommend developers who can integrate Paywise into websites and popular shopping carts like Magento and Shopify.

Very soon, we shall have APIs for the leading shopping carts.

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Receive Payments Next Day

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Need your money soon? No problem. We are pleased to introduce Next Day Credit. With this option, merchants receive payments by the next business day. 

How Next Day Credit works:

  1. Send us an email requesting Next Day Credit
  2. You will receive an email confirming your Next Day Credit
  3. Payments will be credited to your bank account on the next business day

An extra TTD 5.00 will be charged for each request.

Please note that email requests must be received no later than 10:00pm on the day of the request.

If you don’t need Next Day Credit, payments will be credited to your bank account on the regular days (Tuesdays and Fridays). 

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What is eCommerce?

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To many persons, eCommerce is the use of credit cards only to pay for goods and services online. This is not the case. According to Wikipedia: eCommerce, is the trading or facilitation of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet or online social networks. Two noticeable things about the definition are that it is broad and the mode of payment is not prescribed.

There are three main aspects to eCommerce; order management, payment processing, and delivery. The purest form of eCommerce is where all three stages occur online. For example, in the purchase of digital goods like an ebook from Amazon. You order the ebook online, make the payment online and receive delivery of the ebook via the internet. Most orders (of physical goods) from Amazon are two parts online and one part offline. That is, you place the order and make the payment online. However, delivery occurs offline. This is the most common form of eCommerce.

Other forms of eCommerce include the order of goods online only. Payment and delivery occur offline. For example in Germany, invoicing is the most popular means of payment for online shopping. Invoice payments rank first followed by credit card payments. With invoice payments, the customer orders the goods online and receives delivery of the goods including an invoice. The customer either pays for the goods upon receipt or at a later point in time. Typically, payments are made within 10 – 15 working days. Sweden is another country where invoice payment for online purchases is popular.

The beauty of eCommerce in these countries is that popular modes of payment are based on cultural factors. Hence, online businesses in these countries have adapted to modes of payments that are acceptable to the population. In fact, they provide more than one payment option to meet the preferences of customers.

These different payment modes are not as popular in the North American model of eCommerce that we are familiar with. Nevertheless, they form a practical way of getting paid.

In Trinidad and Tobago, a similar pragmatism should apply. Credit card penetration in the US is about 66%. Hence, the credit card-centric payment model. Locally, according to the Central Bank, credit card penetration is about 20%. Including prepaid cards the figure is 25%. This means that over 75% of the adult population or roughly 824,000 persons have cash to spend but no means to conduct payments online. Online businesses must realize that the acceptance of credit card payments only, may impose an artificial limit on their customer base.

Paywise was created to provide a cash payment option for eCommerce in Trinidad and Tobago.

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Signing-Up for Paywise

Signing-up for Paywise is very straightforward. The process has three stages: contact, application and activation.

 Contact

Prospective merchants contact Paywise via telephone, email or the pre-registration form on the website.  Using the pre-registration form, the merchant leaves his or her name, email address and telephone number. Once the information is received contact is made within 24 hours. Alternatively, prospective merchants may call 223-9422 or send us an email at contact@paywise.co.

 Application

The application process for Paywise is similar to opening a bank account. Firstly, all merchants must have their businesses registered with the appropriate authority. Any registered business can use Paywise: sole proprietor, partnership, company, non-profit, cooperative society, etc. To utilize Paywise, merchants must submit the appropriate application requirements. Requirements for a limited liability company and a sole trader can be found on the website. Requirements for other business types are provided upon request.

 Once the merchant agrees to sign up we send the application email. The application email contains the registration requirements, a link to create the Paywise online account, the application form and an account operation letter. The last two requirements must be completed in hard copy. Soft copies of the application documents may be sent to us.

Activation

The Paywise account is activated once the documents received are in order and the online account is created. Activation means that merchants can begin to accept payments using Paywise. This normally occurs within 24 hours or by the next business day.

Paywise conducts a test transaction after the account is activated. This shows that the account is active and ready to accept payments. Following the test, Paywise will send a copy of the receipt to the merchant. Shortly afterward, the merchant will receive notifications by SMS and email of the test payment. The merchant can then log into his or her Paywise account to view the test transaction. The test transaction allows merchants to see how Paywise works.

The speed of the sign-up process depends on how quickly the merchant submits the completed documents. Merchants have contacted us, completed the application requirements and had their accounts activated within 24 hours.

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Paywise Offers Free Co-Branding to Merchants

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Branding is everything. Businesses want their brand messages to be prominent throughout the customer buying and payment experience. Hence, merchants have requested that their logos be included on the Paywise payment slip. Knowing the importance of branding to our merchants we have agreed.

Now Paywise offers co-branding on payment slips. This feature is available for merchants that utilize the manual payment method only. See the co-branded payment slip below.

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Co-branding is free of charge to merchants. To include your logo on the payment slip send us a clear, high-resolution image of your logo. We will add the logo to the payment slip and send the co-branded payment slip to you. 

Let your brand reach further.

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Paywise Makes Receiving Payments Easier

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Paywise is a straightforward and simple system that allows businesses to receive cash payments from customers anywhere in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a safe, convenient and reliable way to receive cash payments from customers. We have been operating since 2013 and have satisfactorily facilitated payments from customers to many businesses.

Locally, over-the-counter payments are the predominant means of payment. Over-the-counter payments comprise cash payments and electronic payments. Electronic payments are payments made using a credit card or a debit card via the LINX network. Less prevalent forms of payment to businesses are cheques, bank account deposits, and direct account transfers.

In over-the-counter payments customers choose the means of payment; cash or card. The use of cash, card or both is based on several motivations. The important thing is that customers have a choice and they select the best means of payment for them, at that point in time. This is extremely convenient and practical for customers.

More businesses are accepting payments from customers outside of the store; some have no physical store. They deliver or ship goods to customers and may accept payment-on-delivery. Payment-on-delivery takes the form of cash payment or electronic payment via a portable LINX machine. Some businesses do accept credit card payments online. However, relatively few businesses offer this payment option.

Accepting payment-on-delivery requires a face-to-face interaction. That is, a business representative must meet the customer. There are many instances when a face-to-face encounter is not practical or necessary. For example, when payment has to be made before the goods are shipped or when cash simply has to be collected from the customer.

Today businesses are selling to more customers outside their geographic location. Hence, it is more practical to have locations closer to customers at which payments can be made. The benefit to the customer is greater convenience. Businesses benefit by being able to receive payments from any customer across the country at a nominal transactional cost.

These are the benefits that Paywise provides to its clients every single day. In so doing, we have added another option to the local payment landscape. We allow businesses to focus on generating sales anywhere in the country, knowing fully well that how they receive payments is a done deal.