Do you sell products online?
How are your customers paying for the products they buy on your website?
Mobile money transfer services such as Mpesa have transformed the lives of millions of Kenyans and frankly, it has changed the way we conduct business in East Africa.
The mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has continued to scale rapidly, reaching 367 million subscribers in mid-2015. It is safe to say that the mobile economy has arrived with Kenya leading the world in offering convenient mobile payment services.
Over a year ago I wrote an article on How To Add Payment Utilities To Your Website and it has since done very well for the organic Google search terms “how to add Mpesa payment services to your website” ranking me as number two in the SERP’s.
Reading that post again today I recognize that I should have done a more in-depth review of the tools, plugins, and extensions of some of those services mentioned in that post.
This article intends to do exactly that, I will give you a step by step guide on how to conveniently add online mobile payment utilities to your website, how to accept and get paid directly to your mobile phone from your WordPress website.
Select Your Online eCommerce Platform
So first things first you need to find a platform that you will use to sell your products online.
As an entrepreneur living in Africa, I’ll assume your main target audience will be from here as well, but that is not always the case for some businesses. It makes sense to have your customers conveniently shop and pay for your products online.
Self-hosted websites offer you more flexibility and give you the ability to modify your store live in an environment. I would definitely recommend you go this route as opposed to choosing online store platforms.
There are a number of things you need to consider when making when selecting your online platform:
- How long will it take to setup and get started?
- How much will it cost?
- Are the pages mobile optimized? Can my customers shop from their mobile devices?
- Can the platform work with other software solutions and providers?
- How flexible is the product catalog?
WordPress is an awesome platform to get started with, the learning curve is not steep and there are a ton of great resources online that can help you set up your first online store in literally minutes.
The platform has a database of thousands of plugins which you can adapt to suit your individual needs.
WooCommerce is a free plugin from WordPress that allows you to setup your eCommerce store on your website.
This plugin makes it super simple to add products, change the prices and publish on your website pages. I once used this plugin for my resources page and I found it very easy to use.
Obviously, this is not the only e-commerce plugin available but it the most recommended and the most popular WordPress plugin for eCommerce solutions.
Popular Online Payment Gateways To Consider
So now that you’ve set up your store it’s time to choose your payment method.
Payment Gateways are simply online payment software solutions that enable your customers to not only pay with international money transfer services such as Visa, Paypal or Mastercard but also have the option to pay using the various mobile money services available locally.
Unlike other countries on the continent, Kenya, and some other East African countries are positioned well for online payments in that governments have not imposed regulations limiting online payments.
There are a couple of things you need to consider before choosing your preffered online payment gateway:
- Is the Payment Gateway supported by your eCommerce Platform for example WooCommerce?
- Does the Payment Gateway support the payments methods your ideal market uses?
- What is the reputation of the company?
- What are their fees?
- Do you want a payment gateway and merchant account or an all-in-one payment service provider?
- Do you want customers to enter their payment details directly on your site?
JamboPay is a Kenyan company. They are East Africa’s online payment giants who have dominated the market with their innovative approach to online payment services
If you looking for a local company that can provide you with tailored payment services, then you should consider using JamboPay.
The setup fee for an individual is account is free, you customers have an option to pay via Airtel Money or Mpesa.
Assuming that you’ve already installed Woocommerce on your WordPress website, the company has a plugin that allows you to use Jambopay Online Payment Gateways on your Woocommerce store via Mpesa, VISA Cards, Mastercard, Airtel Money.
The plugin is available for all WooCommerce users, you can find it in the WordPress Plugins Repository database.
With this Jambopay WooCommerce Payment Gateway plugin, you will be able to accept the following payment methods in your shop:
- Airtel Money
- Yu Cash
- Visa Card
Important To Note: This Plugin has not been updated in over two years and may compatibility using issues with some of the recent versions of WordPress
PesaPal: Make Online and Mobile Payments
Pesapal is a Kenyan company that has equally dominated the East African market with their online and mobile payment services.
I would recommend PesaPal over JamboPay for the main reason that they regularly update their WordPress plugin which is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
With Over 500+ installs and 5 Star ratings, it’s safe to say that this plugin is quite popluar.A
Again an easy to use plugin that you can install to your WordPress Dashboard and each integrate it with your eCommerce platform such as Woocommerce.
This is yet another plugin from the company that allows you to conveniently integrate to your website to handle payment processes.
Has over 200+ downloads with 5 star ratings, the main features of this plugin are:
- Set up PesaPal credentials
- Set up fields to be captured
- Log PesaPal transactions
- Allows calling of a function before the pesapal transaction
- Accept Donations
- Automatically add the PesaPal Pay button on any post of page using a meta box
The internet has revolutionized the way we do business in Africa and with the continual rise in internet use, good connectivity, and penetration e-commerce in Kenya has become an important vehicle to generating wealth.
As a business owner you need to look for different ways of staying competitive and one of the ways to achieve this is by allowing your customers to conveniently pay for the goods they purchase directly from their mobile phone.
As the world catches up to Kenya in offering mobile payment services we have a unique opportunity to position ourselves in the world through offering innovative online payment solutions.