Business Today
A good payment gateway is important for online retail ventures
A payment gateway is often an important part of running an online enterprise. There has to be a balance between how much it will cost you and how easy it is for customers.
Virtual Money Channels
A payment gateway is often an important part of running an online enterprise. There has to be a balance between how much it will cost you and how easy it is for customers.

Here are five new or innovative services that an online entrepreneur can use to make the payment process easy -

PAYUPAISA

While it's best have a website of your own, you do have another option to sell online. If you're good at using social-networking sites to market your products, PayUPaisa.com (PuP) offers a virtual space to display and sell your wares without having a site of your own.

Log on on to PayUPaisa and create an account. It's been made easy and all you need is a PAN card and a bank account number; no documents, no address proof, no negotiating with a customer service executive.

Once you've done this, the site helps you create what is known as a webfront. This a page on the PuP website, a quasi-website for you, that for all purposes is your personal virtual space to make a sale.

Once you publish your webfront, which is as easy as choosing the right option on the account dashboard, you can re-direct buyers from your own websites or a social-networking site and make the sale.

The payment gateway will be integrated with the PuP account, meaning you do not have to set it up separately. You pay 3.2% of transaction amount plus Rs 3 per transaction. This fee is lower, up to 2%, if it is bill or utility payment service.


CCAVENUE (S.N.I.P)

The share of
online retail in total organised retail in India is forecast to grow from 0.1% at present to 5.3% by 2021; a hundred-fold growth from $600 million to $76 billion in about eight years.

CCAvenue.com recently introduced a payment service, S.N.I.P. or Social Network In-Stream Payments Collection Service, that allows retailers to sell and get paid through a social-networking website.

S.N.I.P. enables businesses to sell and collect payments 'in-stream' and 'real-time', which means you can do it from a site such as Facebook and you don't have to wait days for the payments to process.

As the service requires no collaboration with the social-networking site, you can put up a link almost anywhere, including Twitter, Google+ and even Whatsapp. When a customer clicks on a S.N.I.P. link, he is redirected to the CCAvenue payment page where the transaction is completed. The service is also optimised for mobile phones.

S.N.I.P, online from May of this year, is an add on to the CCAvenue payment gateway account at no extra cost. Retailers can can make a payment link (and a sales pitch), publish it on a website and collect payments.

S.N.I.P. also generates a QR code (works the same way as a barcode) for print, say newspapers, magazines or posters that redirects a customer to a CCAvenue payment page.


AASAAN PAY

AasaanPay.com hopes to get retailers to use smartphones to make payments. The technology that makes this possible is a dongle that connects to a smartphone via the audio jack. A merchant will have to install an app on his phone and enter the bank account details.

To receive payment, you insert the device, open the AasaanPay app, enter the amount, swipe the card (debit or credit), ask the customer to sign and a receipt can be sent through an email or an SMS. While this might sound risky, the founders assure security with as many as 255 controls in place for the service.

Though the service is currently live, it is still at the pilot level. A couple of online retailers are also part of the pilot and use the service to offer the option of payment through cards on delivery. The site has not yet released the charges for the service and so it's not sure if small entrepreneurs can afford the service.


GHAR PAY

Cash-on-delivery is a popular payment option for consumers in India. But, if you're a small retailer, you might not have the infrastructure to offer the service. That was until Gharpay.com was launched.

Gharpay is a 'doorstep payment network', meaning they'll collect the cash for your services and deliver it to you. However, there is a huge limitation on using this service. Gharpay does not offer the service for physical products, but only for services at the moment.

The site provides real-time payment status. You can fulfil your obligation to the customer as soon as they collect the cash. Gharpay is present in 16 cities, including all major metros.

For a transaction of Rs 1,000, you will incur a service charge of Rs 40 and service tax (12.36%) of Rs 4.94. For a transaction of over Rs 1,000, say Rs 2000, you will be charged Rs 40 up to Rs 1000 and 2% on the amount above it, which in this case would be another Rs 1,000, meaning a cost of Rs 60 plus tax.


ZONG

Zong.com is a payment service through mobile phones. While not everyone has a credit card, almost anyone has a mobile phone. This gives a seller access to many more consumers.

The customer makes payments through mobile phones and the amount spent is added to the phone bill or deducted from a prepaid balance. A customer does not need a credit card or debit card, or even a bank account to buy through Zong.com.

But, what he does need to have is a mobile phone with active text messaging service. Of course, if a customer does have a credit or debit card, he can link the card's account to the phone number to make payments immediately. This allied service is called Zong+.

The service is active in over 40 countries and you can make a sale anywhere in these countries. The firm also takes care of compliance with mobile operator rules and currency conversion rates for the seller.

The site charges a transaction fee on a purchase, which is dependant on the country you make the sale. When customers pay their phone bills, the carriers pay Zong and, you, the entrepreneur gets paid.

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