Top Nigerian Payment Gateways in 2018
Let’s face it, starting a business in Nigeria is daunting, though and hard, but receiving payment from your clients and customers isn’t, at least not in 2018.
Most of the questions we get from SMEs and Entrepreneurs when it comes to receiving payment online in Nigeria is often; which is the best service? To be honest, there is no best service. The best service is the one that works best for you or your business – or at least provides the most options you want in a payment gateway, as a Nigerian business or entrepreneur.
Some few years back, payment gateways were a very hard nut to crack. It was mostly for the elite corporations and businesses. The reasons were simple; cost and technical abilities. Implementing a payment gateway into websites or mobile applications requires some special skillsets that is not common to the everyday entrepreneur. For this reason, one of the things an SME or entrepreneur would consider when trying to implement a payment gateway is the cost of hiring a developer which often don’t come cheap – especially experienced ones.
Another major setback was the cost of acquiring the payment gateway itself. As a matter of fact, this was the major setback for small-medium scale businesses and entrepreneurs. The most popular payment gateway provider years back in Nigeria charged as much as 250k (Nigerian Naira) while banks charged between 75 – 150k (Nigerian Naira) for the service. Today, everything has changed and thanks to the fierce competition in the Nigerian payment gateway industry, you can now acquire and integrate a payment gateway for free or almost – to receive payments from your customers and clients.
Did I also tell you that the popular payment gateway provider that charged exorbitant fees years back now offer the same service for free today? And guess what, they are no longer popular in 2018; in-fact they did not make the list of our top Nigerian payment gateways in 2018. But that’s digressing so let’s get back on track.
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Back on track!
When choosing a payment gateway for your business or service there are a couple things you should look out for. We consider these basics;
This includes the cost of acquiring the payment gateway, cost of implementation and the transaction charges of the payment gateway. The transaction charges of payment gateways vary. It is always a good idea to go through these charges and understand if they suit your business.
TTL – Time to Live
TTL is the time to live or the amount of time it requires to setup the payment gateway and start receiving live payments. This is a very important factor to consider when choosing payment gateways in Nigeria. Some few years back, even with the exorbitant charges, it took between two weeks to months to successfully implement a payment gateway on websites and applications. Even the forms one had to fill were cumbersome and discouraging.
Today, the case is different. Some of the top payment gateways in Nigeria in 2018 allow you to register and go live within some few hours to two days max. These are the type of payment gateways you should be considering.
Technology is a very important part to consider when searching for top Nigerian payment gateways. Security is also part of the technology. Payment gateways need to have a way of fighting fraud while making it extremely easy for genuine users to transact. A great payment gateway service provider should also allow easy integration into various platforms while supporting various programming languages, API’s and server side technologies.
The ease and learning curve of the payment gateway’s API should be slim. Nothing gives more joy to a developer than a very friendly and easy to lean API with tons of developer resources and guide, in different programming languages and technologies.
Ease of getting paid
A payment gateway could have the best of technologies, charges and all but if the gateway isn’t flexible enough to provide multiple channels of getting paid – it’s certainly not part of our top Nigerian payment gateways. This is because, most Nigerian customers are still skeptical about making payments online. Of a truth, some still prefer the good old school way – walk into the bank, pay and show you a teller. Others might not just want to use their cards, or might not have the type of card your gateway is requesting.
Some of the top Nigerian payment gateways allows for flexibility, giving users a variety of options to make payment as quickly as possible without the usual rada rada (permit my English). There was a time when the only payment option was VERVE cards even with the major players back then. Today, great payment gateways have provided more options including, VISA, MasterCard, Verve, American Express, SMS ShortCode Payment, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, QR Codes and more. This makes sure your customers pay you using their preferred and trusted method
Another major concern was the time it took for the merchants to receive their money from the payment gateways. Just few years back, it took some service providers up to a month to remit funds to the merchants. This also was a major setback because what that meant was; you get paid once every month. For large corporations and businesses, this was not an issue, but for the SMS’s and small businesses that depended on daily sales for survival, it was a big issue. Today great payment gateways remit funds to the merchants on daily, weekly, monthly or on a manual basis as defined by the merchant or business owners.
I left this for the last not because it was least important, but because it was the most important. One major pitfall of payment gateway providers is customer service. When looking our for top Nigerian payment gateways, you want to look out for a service that understands the importance of customer service. A service that has various channels to provide the support you need, when you need it. Money matters is usually very delicate, and you want a service that can reach anytime, any day.
Now that you understand the key things to look out for in a payment gateway, let’s go ahead and share with you our list of top Nigerian payment gateways for SMEs & Entrepreneurs in 2018. Please note that they are not listed in any particular order.
Top Nigerian Payment Gateways
Paystack is a standout among the most popular Nigerian payment gateways right now. It allows merchants accept debit and credit card payments online from their customers. It is a very simple and dependable service to accept payments over different channels, including MasterCard, Visa and Verve.
Another distinct service from Paystack is what they call payment pages which can be used to run online campaigns for your products and services without writing code. This feature can be beneficial to almost any service provider, business or even NGO’s such as churches. It could be used for one time payments, recurring payments, or even open payments which is cool for donations. You can customize the page with your Logo and request for other information via form inputs. As a Paystack merchant, you can payout cash specifically from your Paystack dashboard to any financial service provider in the nation.
- Paystack is easy and free to get started: You can setup Paystack on your site or app even without a developer in minutes.
- Paystack makes sure you get paid: Payments can be completed in 2-3 easy steps. Your customers can make hassle-free payments directly on your website.
- Paystack provides tools to help you grow: Beyond payments, get reliable support and business solutions to measure and improve your growth.
Con: Additional activation request to receive International card payments
- Setup Fee: Free
- Local Transactions: 1.5% + ₦100 (The ₦100 fee is waived for transactions less than ₦2500)
- International Transactions: 3.9% + ₦100
Rave lets you receive payments locally and globally with no hassles and zero set up fees. They make accepting payments online easy, safe and secure and definately one of the top Nigerian payment gateways for SME’s and Entrepreneurs in 2018.
Unique Selling Points
- Multi-currency support: Rave’s multi currency support allows to receive payments in multiple currencies at the flip of a switch. Rave also supports cross currency conversions.
- Multitenancy possibilities: An interesting feature on Rave is the automatic white label possibilities offered absolutely free at the flip of a switch.
- Card and account payments: Rave allows you to charge cards and bank accounts directly. So you can directly debit your customers’ bank accounts.
- Setup Fee: Free
- Local Transactions: 1.4% + NGN 50.00
- International Transactions: 3.5%
Amplify is the smartest way to accept and manage recurring payments in Nigeria. Though new, this payment gateway seems to be focusing on recurring payments. They are PCI/DSS complaint and you can use them to accept over 40 currencies worldwide. That’s quite a reach, especially if you have or plan on having clients from all over the world.
Unique Selling Points
- World-class, bank-level security: All transactions are processed via a PCIDSS compliant and 3D Secure payment gateway via an SSL encrypted channel
- Get your money within 24 hours: Payments made through Amplify will be in your company bank account within 1 day.
- Card correction technology: If there’s an issue with your customers’ card, Amplify will automatically retry until payment goes through, for up to 2 days.
- Multiple payment options: Accept payments in over 40 currencies from VISA, Mastercard, Verve, and American Express. Your customers will also be able to pay directly from their bank accounts.
- Accept payments without needing a website: You can accept payments without needing a coder. Create a simple form, send the link to your customer, and get paid.
- Setup Fee: Free
- Local Transactions: 1.5% + ₦20 (capped at ₦2,000)
- International Transactions: 3.8% + ₦20
On a final note, if you are looking for top Nigerian payment gateways in 2018 for your business, depending on your requirement, any of the payment gateways above should work great for your business. Most of them have ready to use plugins for popular content management systems but if your application has special requirements and you need the help of a professional to integrate, we recommend Cloudsa. They do never disappoint!
Do you know of any other that should make the list? Do you have questions or comments concerning the list above? Feel free to leave a reply in the comments section below.