Feb 15, 2011

Payment Options – The Best Way To Pay

Keeping the shopping convenience motto high, online sellers should be able to offer several payment options for the customer to choose from. Each option should be (1) convenient; (2) safe; and (3) light on the pocket.

So what are the payment options available today and how do they rate on the three categories mentioned?

Acceptance MarkPaypal is by far the most convenient way to pay. With just the click of your fingertips you can bid/buy and check out your items. It is equipped with all the encrypting technology available online since we're talking about money here. Buyer can also file a dispute with Paypal or reverse the entire payment should the transaction prove to be unsatisfactory; for a period of 30days. But is it light on the pocket? This entirely depends on the buyer-seller agreement. Since Paypal is charging the seller a payment fee1 for every transaction, not all sellers are keen on offering Paypal. Others would allow Paypal payments if the buyer agrees to shoulder the charges or even half of it. All in all, Paypal is still a must to offer especially if you're selling high value items.

Bank Deposit is not high on the convenience chart, but definitely pose a safer way to pay compared to GCash or SMART Money transfer. If the buyer is within the Metro then bank deposit is no problem. Not so true for people living in the province. Also, a seller should be aware if there are inter-branch charges that the bank is collecting during deposit. BDO is an example that collects 50pesos for deposits on personal accounts from different provinces. This may surprise some buyers, so always give prior notice.

Bank deposit also gives a buyer some sense of security since they know that the person they're transacting with is existing.

GCash or SMART Money Transfer

These mobile payment options are both high in convenience and risk. Many online scams are transacted thru mobile payments. A scammer can just buy any SIM card, subscribe for a GCash or SMART Money2 number and be able to transact anonymously. The transaction is non-reversible to be accurate in giving your card number. Globe and SMART also doesn't keep track of all GCash or SMART Money number, so refund is not 100% guarantee.
Mobile payment method should also be light on the pocket, since depositing to a GCash or SMART Money number is virtually free. Buyers can drop by any BDO branch and fill-up a merchant slip containing the seller's GCash or SMART Money number and pay only the amount to be deposited. This could very well be used as an alternative to BDO bank deposit that might incur inter-branch fee.

LBC, Cebuana, M Lhuillier or Wester Union

These payment options are a definite NO-NO, both for buyers and sellers. They are not convenient, and definitely not light on the pocket. Buyers should think twice, or even thrice when these are the only payment option a seller is offering.

Foot Notes:
1 Paypal charges 3.4% + 15pesos per transaction when receiving payments
2  Unclaimed SMART Money number can only transfer up to 1000pesos.  After that, it must be linked to a named SMART Money card before any other transaction can be done.


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