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PayPal to come to South Africa – We live in hope.


Written by:
2010/03/15 08:04 AM RssIcon

PayPal Inc.

Image via Wikipedia

PayPal and FNB talks may cause us to have great PayPal friendly shops on our websites soon. Announcement is to be expect on 25 March.

If you have been alive for any considerable amount of time and spent a few minutes online you will know exactly what PayPal is all about.

As a web developer and an owner of a web business online trade and international trade is important to me. But frustratingly this is very difficult to achieve here in South Africa.

I have about 78% of my traffic coming from international sources. 38% of that from the US and about 15% from the UK. This presents a huge opportunity for international trade. Especially with a product like web development, or selling eBooks.

What is PayPal?

To those not familiar with PayPal, this is the market leader that processes credit card payments online without users sharing their financial information with a third party during the payment process.

It is a service aimed at facilitating secure online trade. The technology allows users to shop online without revealing their credit card details. This ensures a more secure platform for online transacting.

Buyers create an account with PayPal once-off, then log-in with email address and password to make online payments with a seller offering PayPal payment options.

No monthly fees, no setup costs and no getaway fees, sellers only pay 2.4% – 3.4% + $0.30 USD, depending on monthly volume. Thanks To Travelwires for this.

South Africans Cannot Use PayPal.

It’s easy to sell but very difficult to get money. Many people would prefer to use PayPal. But South Africans cannot use PayPal to receive or Draw money. You can have a PayPal account but you have to deposit money into it yourself to be able to use that in trade. What is the point, I might as well just use my credit card on sites that I am purchasing from.

The problem lies with both PayPal and the South African Government. PayPal hinting to the idea that it is not worthwhile for them because of the small amount of online trade here in SA. DUH, that’s because we CANNOT trade internationally. Give us the ability and we will trade.

Secondly South African Revenue Services (SARS) makes it very difficult for companies like PayPal to offer their services because they want to control what funds come into the country because they want their piece of the action.

There is the opportunity to use a money transfer, but that is wrought with expenses and difficulties. I am just busy developing an ecommerce site for a guy who wants to sell his book, hard copy and E-book to potential US and UK customers. With the printing costs, wire transfer charges, administration nightmares, he will actually lose money. It would be cheaper to give the books away.

What are South Africans Allowed to do with PayPal.

Thanks to ChrisM from Imod who did some intense investigation, he even called PayPal directly,  about what we as South Africans can do with PayPal. From his site he lists these points:

What are South African citizens permitted to do?

  • South African citizens may open up a PayPal account
  • South African citizens may receive money
  • South African citizens may spend money in their PayPal account on stores such as, etc.

What are South African citizens not permitted to do?

  • South African citizens may not receive money from their PayPal account into a local account

FNB and PayPal in talks.

In February this year, rumour broke through online micro blogging network Twitter that First National Bank and PayPal are in talks to get PayPal to south Africa. Possibly as early as April.

FNB at first did not comment, but with strong rumours and people like Chris from Imod, blogging and tweeting about it, as well as many news sites, like Fin24, TravelWires, reporting on it, they had to say something.

The DailyMaverick reported the response from FNB; “Virginia Magapatona, Head of Corporate Communications at First National Bank (FNB), today confirmed that FNB is in discussions with PayPal and the South African Reserve Bank and further information will be released in due course.”

So it seems that this is entirely possible. But yet we are left with uncertainty as there is no commitment to an actual date. But rumours once again have it at April.

Why the sudden change of heart. Well I give you one guess. I guess you do not need it. The 2010 FIFA World Cup in June, ‘nuf said.

Bringing South Africa into the 21st Century.

Well done to FNB who took it upon themselves to get South Africa into the 21st century. Let's hope everything goes well with the talks between them and PayPal so we can run international friendly shops from our websites by being able to accept PayPal.

Ironically, for a country that doesn't have PayPal, the technology was developed by South African Elon Musk who matriculated from Pretoria Boys High School in 1988.

He is now CEO of US technology company (Space Exploration Technologies) SpaceX which develops technology for high-profile clients, including US space agency NASA.

Are you excited? Do you think it will happen? If PayPal does come to South Africa, how will that influence your current online trade if any?

For my international readers, are you using PayPal? Please let us South Africans who are in the Dark know a bit about how easy or difficult it is to use. How has PayPal affected your online trade, as a consumer or as a trader.

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