By PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
To accelerate local e-commerce growth, PesoPay, the leading online payment gateway in the country, now offers a plan that allows startups and SMEs to easily apply for a merchant account and process card payments online.
For the uninitiated, a merchant account is a type of business bank account that enables businesses to accept credit and debit card transactions online.
Unfortunately, getting such an account is no small feat.
Besides a security deposit of 500,000 pesos (Bt371,000), most banks require merchants to have at least one year of profitable business operation. Merchant accountholders must also maintain minimum monthly sales of 150,000 pesos to keep the account.
These prerequisites leave merchants with no choice but alternative payment methods like cash and e-wallets to complete online transactions.
Credit cards remain one of the preferred payment methods for online shopping among Filipino Millennials, so this situation hinders most businesses from fully maximising their sales potential.
“Large enterprises have no problem adhering to these requirements, but how about new entrants to e-commerce?
“With limited capital at hand and less than a year in operation, these businesses will ultimately be left out of the e-commerce scene without a proper solution,” said AsiaPay Philippines associate director Mau San Andres.
“Through a collaboration with BDO, we are now offering a basic plan that promises to deliver a streamlined on-boarding process, competitive pricing rates and simpler bank requirements for startups and SMEs,” he said.
The PesoPay basic plan operates under the “payment facilitator” model in which AsiaPay Philippines will process credit card payments on behalf of merchants. The payments are first collected into one central account and later disbursed to each merchant account.
In such cases, AsiaPay acts as the “master merchant”, while online businesses are referred to as “sub-merchants”.
With this setup, entrepreneurs and small merchants can now facilitate Visa and MasterCard payments on their website without complying with the bank requirements.