Probably the biggest news ever to officially hit the local payment systems, as Pay Pal announced today that it would by this week be available in Zimbabwe.
According to the Reuters, Mr Rupert Keeley, the executive in charge of the EMEA region of PayPal said that Zimbabwe is among the only 10 selected countries to join the list of 200 countries connected to Pay Pal.
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
“A total of 80 million Internet users stand to gain access to PayPal global services this week, including those in five European markets – Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco and Montenegro, four in the African nations of Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Zimbabwe, as well as Paraguay”, said the report.
This is good news for those Zimbabweans who have always hit a dead end when faced with a Pay Pal payment option as the only mode for a plethora of various services online. Pay pal seems to have exclusively signed up many merchants for their services while the other players are closing in.
Ironically, their major competitor, Mastercard has not been available as an option in many cases forcing millions in Zimbabwe to abort various payment procedure while payment via Visa or Mastercard is now a reality for millions of Zimbabweans.
Friends and family from the diaspora would be the only option where Pay Pal relatively works pretty smooth for them.
Pay Pal did not state the exact date when Zimbabweans may start transacting, or rather may expect our country to be listed amongst the 190 already trading. By the time of publishing the story, Pay Pal option for Zimbabwe was still inactive
In a major turnaround, Pay pal did not mention sanctions or their removal as a reason why they have not been operational in Zimbabwe, but rather only mentioned a procedural issue as they roll out the service worldwide.
The report only stated that “We think we can give our sellers selling into this market a great deal of reassurance,” said Keeley, a former regional banking executive with Standard Chartered Plc and senior executive with payment card company Visa Inc.
“PayPal does not yet cover peer-to-peer transactions, which allow consumers to send money to other consumers. It has not yet enabled local merchants in the new markets to receive payments, nor is it offering other forms of banking services, “he said.
Unfortunately for merchants, this is no good news, atleast yet!
But looking at the way they are rolling out, it seems it will only be a matter of time till they also introduce the portal to the merchants as the race for the market really gets tighter with master card seriously encroaching inside the emerging markets.
Due to the obvious security reasons already threatening the viability and reliability of e-commerce, Pay Pal is only being careful by allowing money to go outside to markets they already understand and have trusted before .
Money laundering, credit card frauds and illegal dealing payments can be easily fuelled by online payments while Pay Pal risks the chances of reversal transactions hence an approach with caution for now is only logical.
Speaking to Vusi Ndebele and Matthew Hood of WebDev some few weeks ago, they highlighted that they have already completed their soft launch of their new payment platform called PayNow, an alternative for Zimbabweans.
PayNow would perfectly close the gap created by the absence of permanent solutions like Pay Pal while their strengths really is what Pay Pal promised not to be doing soon, as yet, thus enabling local money transfer via online payments.
Mathew Hood said that their new platform to be officialy launched soon will enable merchants in Zimbabwe to receive money instantly from any transaction or bank transfer directly to or from the mobile platform and had already signed up all of the local money transfer operators in Zimbabwe.
While other players like pay4App are already available in the market, Vusi Ndebele said that they are targeting a different market with PayNow where the major enterprises and businesses will be their major focus as they add their voice on the e-commerce market.
Although this will certainly revolutionise local and international payments for Zimbabweans, the entry of Pay Pal to the Zimbabwean market will only unlock the question on how best Zimbabweans can also buy internationally online.
PayPal is reported to have 148 million active accounts worldwide.