The Alternative to PayPal: Accepting Card Payments Online

June 27th, 2022 by Felix Cheruiyot

alternative-to-paypal

This article will not only discuss the best alternative to PayPal in Africa, but it will also highlight some of the challenges African businesses go through. This is important for you to be aware of as you choose a payment provider for your business. Surviving in the e-commerce industry and online business is never a walk in the park. It’s an industry that affords no room for mistakes as every mistake comes with a huge price that can cost you a lot you may never recover from.

Payment is one of the main challenges most online business faces. How do you get a suitable payment provider that makes payment easier for your customers? Does this provider offer a free account setup? How much do they charge per transaction? Are these charges feasible? When considering several payment providers, you ask these questions to know which one will be best for your business.

For many African businesses, PayPal has been the go-to payment provider for a long time. Despite the apparent difficulties using PayPal comes with, people still won’t try better alternatives for different reasons.

PayPal is a big company trusted by millions of people across the globe. It was co-founded originally as X.com by the now richest man on the planet, Elon Musk, during his early years in tech. Although he has since sold the company, his association with PayPal continues to give it a solid ground to be trusted by people.

Most African business owners don’t know (or maybe they do but haven’t been able to trust another great alternative to Paypal) that PayPal is not built for African businesses. It’s only a matter of time before you start having serious issues that could cost you your entire business.

As an African business owner, if you’re looking to explore an alternative for PayPal to keep your business, we will be looking at the most prominent payment provider in Kenya and the whole of East Africa - IntaSend.

Why Can’t You Use PayPal?

While PayPal is considered one of the best in the world, if not the best, it’s true that African businesses are facing a lot of challenges daily due to some restrictions in operations that are only peculiar to some locations, including Africa. Let’s face it, operating PayPal outside the United States, and maybe Canada is tough. The first challenge you come across is that the features are limited. For example, U.S. PayPal accounts have the option to purchase cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin, using your PayPal balance. Accounts from other countries don’t have this unique feature, limiting how much people can do with their PayPal funds.

Some of the other challenges you could face when operating a PayPal account outside the United States include;

PayPal accounts/payments on hold

PayPal has been known to put accounts on hold for various reasons. Opening a new PayPal account may take a day or two before you gain access to any funds you receive with the new account. For example, you receive a sum of $50 with the account. The payment will be held for 24/48 hours due to the existing security protocols that have been put in place by PayPal to settle disputes from the sender quickly.

Many would argue that this is a feature that protects the sender's interest because it gives the opportunity to raise a dispute on the payment. However, there’s no denying this is not good for business. What’s the point of having an account with a payment provider if you won’t have immediate access to your money?

Lack of proper support for Africa

PayPal is a very popular payment processor but does not offer the same service in all locations. If you are located outside of the United States, there is a good chance that PayPal will not work with your business. This can be frustrating if you want to accept credit card payments online and PayPal is your only option. Other options available should help you build an e-commerce website where you can accept credit card payments online even if you are located in Africa or another country.

Expensive settlement fees

When you look at the fees that PayPal charges, you will see that they are very high and may get you out of business soon if you continue to pay those outlandish charges. This is because PayPal charges an outrageous fee of around 3.49% + fixed price for invoicing, PayPal checkout, and PayPal guest checkout. PayPal also charges as high as 8% for Store Cash transactions, which is a lot compared to what other payment providers offer.

If you want the optional PayPal account monitoring service on your website, you may have to pay as much as $29.95 to get started and $19.95 subsequent monthly payment. The optional PayPal advanced fraud protection services will also cost you an additional $10 monthly and $0.05 per transaction. Read more about PayPal fees for merchants and businesses here.

For this reason, it is not possible to make a profit with PayPal when accepting credit card payments online. Other options will allow you to keep more of your hard-earned money and make more on each transaction that comes through your website.

Limited flexibility

When you use PayPal, you will be stuck with many rules and regulations regarding how your website operates and what can be sold. This is because PayPal has specific standards in place to keep its users safe from online fraud or identity theft. The problem with these restrictions is that they can limit the types of products or services you can sell through your website if they do not fall into the categories that meet their standards. If you want to sell adult products or services in general, then PayPal might not be suitable for your business as they don’t allow these types of transactions in most cases.

IntaSend: A Better Alternative To PayPal

IntaSend has grown to be one of the most trusted payment providers in Africa, especially in Kenya and the rest of East Africa. Through unrivaled payment integrations, IntaSend has provided many African businesses with the ease they need to receive payments from their customers from all across the globe. With IntaSend, you can send payment requests through payment links to make accepting payments from your customers/clients easier.

IntaSend offers multiple ways to get paid by your customers/clients most conveniently. IntaSend allows you to accept payments through card payments, bank transfers, bitcoin, and mobile money. With all these options, you can only imagine how much convenience you can enjoy while receiving payments effortlessly from your customers.

IntaSend Features

IntaSend is considered a credible alternative to PayPal, especially for freelancers, bloggers, and business owners in Africa, because it has enough features that make receiving payment as easy as anything you’ve seen. Thousands of users continue to trust the services of IntaSend because they’ve enjoyed first-hand what it means to have a payment provider that makes accepting online payments straightforward and effortless. So, what features does IntaSend offer to make it the go-to payment provider in Africa? Let’s find out below.

Card payments

One of the most enjoyable things about IntaSend is how it allows its users to get card payments from anywhere across the world, with easy access to the funds, which can take up to 3 days to be cleared. IntaSend accepts payments from major cards, including Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards. All payments are secured in 3D and in a PCI-DSS compliant environment, so you and your customers can always feel protected.

Other flexible payment methods

Freelancers like writers, web developers, software developers, and bloggers who do not have a website or don’t see a need for one can request online payments from their clients through payment request links and include invoices that take their clients to the payment page as soon as they click on these payment links. Apart from card payments, your clients can also pay you through mobile payments, bitcoin, and ACH.

Requesting payments as a freelancer

IntaSend has made receiving payments from local and international clients/customers very easy. Once you’ve logged in to your account, click on “collections,” under which you’ll find the “request pay” tab. Locate the “send request” tab and click on it to initiate the process. You’ll be directed to a page where you have to fill in the details of your clients, including the full name, amount to be paid, the reason for the payment, email, and the currency you want to be paid in. Go over the details again to ensure they’re correct. Once you’ve confirmed them, click on “send request” after which the payment request will be sent to the client by email.

On the client’s end, they will see the request and once they click on the link, they will be redirected to the payment page where they will also see some of the details you filled in when creating the request like the reason for the payment and the currency they have to pay in. Once the payment has been made, it will reflect on your end, although the availability of the funds depends on a lot of factors, but shouldn’t take more than 3 days.

Disbursement to 132 countries

If you have a large company and you need an equally large payment system to help you send out payments effortlessly. IntaSend allows payment disbursements to 132 countries across the world from a single dashboard. You can settle your B2B invoices, pay bills, and settle suppliers all from your IntaSend dashboard. You can choose to send payments directly to their M-Pesa accounts or through bank payments that are secure and instant.

Fast settlements

From the facts we’ve been able to gather online, most customers have issues with PayPal’s 7-day payment settlement. This means it can take up to 7 days to access the payments you receive through PayPal. However, you can shorten the waiting period with IntaSend as you’ll only have to wait for a period of 2-3 days before you gain access to your money.

Better KYC strategies for African businesses

Who understands the African market better than an African brand? An African payment provider like IntaSend understands the struggles African businesses have to face with unrealistic documentation with international payment providers like PayPal. With IntaSend, the KYC strategies have been put in place with African businesses in mind, so the documentations are not bulky and will always be easier to get. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting a lot of documents you don’t already have. With your mind together in one place, it’ll even be easier to focus on how to make your business thrive better.

Affordable fees

Another enjoyable thing IntaSend offers are the unbeatable fees on transactions. Unlike Paypal which charges up to 8% on online payments, IntaSend charges as low as 3.5% per transaction on local cards with amazing benefits like transaction reports, fraud management (which PayPal charges differently for), and 24/7 customer support to mention but a few.

On international cards, IntaSend charges 4.5% per transaction with amazing features that make receiving payments very easy. These benefits include fraud management, payment notification, invoicing (no-code integration), and multi-currency settlements.

When you don’t have to pay outlandish service charges, you can be confident of enjoying maximum profit on each transaction you make through IntaSend, which is exactly why it’s the best choice if you want to save yourself from paying exorbitant fees.

Instant payouts to bank and M-Pesa accounts

As soon as your funds are available, you can withdraw to your bank or M-Pesa account with instant reflection. From your account dashboard, go to “settlements” and if you’re withdrawing for the first time, you’ll be required to fill in the bank account details for settlement purposes. This same process will be required if you’re adding a new bank account as your settlement account. Once you’ve filled in these details, initiate your withdrawal request by clicking on “new request’. You’ll be asked to fill out the withdrawal form which will require you to fill in the amount you wish to withdraw and the account you want to withdraw from (either KES or USD wallet). As soon as you fill in the withdrawal request details, submit the request and wait for the IntaSend team to review and approve your request which doesn’t take long at all. You can read more about IntaSend settlements here.

Easy-to-use API

Developers have had to go through major challenges when it comes to receiving and disbursing payments over the past few years. With IntaSend’s easy-to-use API, those challenges have now been left in the past. IntaSend payment API for developers allows African businesses to disburse and receive payments to and from anywhere in the world. Payment integration has now been made easy, secure, and functional for developers.

You can make use of IntaSend’s check-out tool to receive card payments easily, which makes payments easier for your customers. IntaSend collects customers’ details for payment purposes and these details are stored securely and only used when they’re checking out.

You can opt for IntaSend’s code or no-code payment integration on your website. These methods have proven to be authentic and will save you a lot of trouble as a developer when building an online business that can receive payments from anywhere in the world.

IntaSend for WooCommerce

Online businesses have a higher chance of thriving than businesses that are not. As an online business owner, WooCommerce should be your go-to tool for building an e-commerce store for your business. WooCommerce is now one of the biggest options for building several e-commerce websites, with over 28% of e-commerce adopting the services of WooCommerce.

Now, building your e-commerce website with WooCommerce is amazing. However, the question you should ask yourself is - what is the best payment gateway for WooCommerce? If you’re an African business owner with an online business(es) in Africa, the answer to that question should be IntaSend. IntaSend offers the best payment gateway for WooCommerce, so if you already have a WooCommerce website, you should not think twice before choosing IntaSend as your preferred payment gateway.

IntaSend payment gateway for WooCommerce allows you to receive payments from cards and other payment schemes available. Still wondering why you should choose IntaSend for your WooCommerce website?

Maybe what makes IntaSend stand out amongst other payment providers is the available sandbox mode that allows you to test all the features of the payment gateway you can enjoy before actually using it. The best part? It is absolutely free to use!

IntaSend payment gateway is also very fast to integrate. You can download the plug, implement the API and begin to use it as soon as you’re done. This eliminates the need to wait for a long period before you start enjoying the amazing services IntaSend offers through its WooCommerce payment gateway.

IntaSend for Shopify

If you own a Shopify store anywhere in Africa, one of the best ways to receive money from your customers is to have the IntaSend Shopify payment gateway. The process is pretty simple. Register on IntaSend if you don’t already have an account, to begin with. After that, you can then go to your Shopify store to install the IntaSend Shopify app. To learn more about IntaSend’s Shopify payment gateway, check out this complete guide.

Link to IntaSend Shopify App - https://apps.shopify.com/intasend-payments

Getting Started On IntaSend

Getting started on IntaSend to enjoy any of its many benefits is a walk in the park. All you need to do is create an account, which is completely free. To create an account, visit intasend.com, go to the login page, and choose “sign up.” You’ll be asked to fill in important details like your business type, email address, and a valid phone number. The verification process is pretty easy. All you need to do is go to your email, open the verification email from IntaSend, and click on the link attached to it to verify your account. Once your account has been verified, you now have access to all the amazing features on IntaSend, which you can access from your account dashboard.

Read more: IntaSend account verification process


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