The main purpose of many of our websites is making it easy or easier to get paid online. Our international entrepreneurs and business owners have little to no trouble at all making this happen for them, and as a result a lot of them, if not all will guide you to using Shopify or Wix, or Etsy as viable or profitable website platforms. There is a critical element as to why those methods won’t work for most of The Caribbean, and in 2022 – why those platforms do not work for Trinidad and Tobago.
We design WordPress websites for small business entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help your business in an online / e-commerce space.
Getting as much information as possible to make an informed decision
Anyone throwing prices for services in your face before also providing you with enough information about the pros and cons, or the wins and best practices is assuming you already know all that you need to know.
On this side of the fence, we prefer not to make that assumption. It is costly, and time consuming. Neither resource we have an overabundance of, and so we value yours as much as we value ours.
Why can’t The Caribbean use the same solutions as international markets?
Let’s narrow it down to the largest e-commerce hubs in the world and the platforms and solutions that they use. Let’s take a look at the USA, or China. When we make payments to websites or businesses in these markets we can use a million options to send money from our side of the world to theirs.
- Western Union
- Bank Wire Transfers
- Credit Cards
However, each of those options have their own transaction fees attached to them. How easily will our clients who live in Trinidad and Tobago (keeping it home), be willing to use convert their TTD dollars to USD and accept the transaction fees to pay us via PayPal?
Let’s say 45% of your clients are willing to pay you, how many of them actually own a credit card? Let’s say 20% of your clients are willing and own a credit card. How easily and consistently can you access the funds they send to your PayPal account? It is not easy. It is not consistent. It is not cost effective.
This same rationale can be used for Western Union and the others. The success of e-commerce in Trinidad and Tobago is the ease of payment for your clients. How familiar is a system and can they trust it?
Our clients are familiar with:
- “Can I pay when they deliver it?”
- “Where can we meet up?”
- “Can I send you a bank transfer?
- “How do I pay you? Can I pay half down first?”
These are all great payment options, if your business allows for it, however it is not very versatile. How does it work when your business delivers soft services? COD won’t apply. Bank Transfers however are still a good method to use.
How can we get our websites to WORK for us though, even if we are seeking to be paid by Bank Transfer? It depends on the website platform that we use. In The Caribbean the best platform to use, to ensure we can get paid is WordPress. For the nuances our e-commerce situation requires, WordPress is the absolute best platform to enable this.
How to get paid online in The Caribbean and in Trinidad and Tobago
In 2020, our local banks rolled out Visa Debit Cards!! This was a huge step for entrepreneurs and e-commerce businesses in Trinidad and Tobago. Why? At least 75% of the nation has access to a debit card. With the FREE upgrade to a Visa Debit Card, the banks of Trinidad and Tobago has provided a huge gift to e-commerce entrepreneurs in the country. This gift can be easily accessed by registering an account with two of the payment gateways making e-commerce profitable in Trinidad and Tobago.
When your account has been verified at either Payment Gateway, you can use all of their features, but best of all, you can now integrate these systems into your website. When this happens, your clients can now use the following options to pay you:
- Visa Debit Card
- Credit Card (from anywhere in the world)
- Bank Transfer (for those who still prefer this method).
Major Benefits of enabling these systems into your website
Your website can begin to WORK FOR you. Anyone coming into your website can now see the prices of your goods and services, and pay you for them!
What happens after you’ve set prices and a client has added to cart and checkout?
- You receive an email notification automatically, advising you of the product or service your client has purchased
- Your client receives an email notification confirming the purchase they have made
- Your client will also receive your Banking details to make offline payment to your bank account
- If you wish your client to send you a screenshot of their deposit, you can have your website provide these instructions to your clients immediately and automatically.
- This means you no longer need to generate manual invoices, or receipts!! Your website does this all for you!
But what happens when they pay with a credit card?
- Well, for one – your Banking details are NOT provided (since it is not necessary for credit / debit card payments)
- You still receive an email notification of payment. Even if the credit card declined you are notified by email. This allows you to reach out to your client and offer an alternative payment method.
- Your client will receive email notifications of their order, of their successful or unsuccessful payment
Your website stores all of your transactional data for you, allowing you to balance the books at the end of the day, week, quarter, or the year!
What is your website built with?
If your website is built with WordPress, then you’re in for a treat!! Both local payment gateway options (featured in this blog, WiPay or SocialPay) were designed FOR WordPress. This means they can be fully integrated into your WordPress (.org) website.
If your Website has been built with another CMS (or website builder platform), then a partial integration may be possible (depending on which system you use).
Some integrations require more technical know-how than others, and therefore takes more time than others. Regardless of which platform your website is built with, integration with either of these platforms depends on the requirements of the payment gateways directly, and whether or not your current website platform is supported by either company.
What should I do first?
If you haven’t already, you should (1) ensure that your business is registered with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Your certification is required to establish an account at either Payment Gateway company. Next, you should (2) ensure your identification documents are valid, available and up-to-date. Either company will ask for these details, as it is required by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Central Bank, before your account can be verified. The verification process (at either company) can take a few weeks.
After your account has been verified, you can now use all of the available features, as well as integrate this service into your website! Schedule a call with us to understand more about your website’s possibility for Payment Integration. If your website is viable for integration (after our call), we will walk you through each step up until we confirm payment integration has been successful on your website!
What’s more – we will prove the successful integration by placing the first order on your website using Credit Card!! There is no test more succinct than this!! Schedule a call and let us help you understand more about what is required and which option is best based on the platform your website is built with!!
Your website designer / developer will continue to be responsible for website maintenance of your website. This includes any website backups which should be performed routinely in the event either company’s integrations should conflict with any existing website set-up.
This service (integration a payment gateway into your website), does not include website maintenance, troubleshooting other elements or addressing any breaks identified or caused by the Gateway tools. Please ensure that your website is healthy, and have been maintained over the period.
If you are unsure, you may wish to schedule a Website Audit for your website. A website audit can be partial (specific for Payment Integration) or overall (All elements of an Audit). In order to oversee website maintenance for your website, a Website Audit must be performed first. A website audit can take up to 2 weeks.