20 Nov Acquiring With Cards For Online Payments and eCommerce Payments Across The African Continent

Acquiring with cards across many countries for eCommerce payments across Africa is a different dynamic to areas like the EU and the USA.  Africa as a continent is not a single currency zone and doesn’t have the benefits of homogeneous legislation that applies across multiple territories.

Africa is a continent, not a country and includes 54 countries with different cultures, currencies, legislation, and payment methods, each having its own requirements for in country payment collection and transfer of money.

I don’t want to scare you off, because Africa is where it's happening right now from an eCommerce and economic growth perspective.  Developed economies are experiencing pedestrian and even negative growth rates, and Africa with its rapidly growing young population and middle class is embracing change and new technologies, presenting an amazing opportunity for multinational eCommerce companies entering the area.

From a tech perspective its relatively simple with an API for mobile monies and an API for cards on the end of which we have solutions across many countries.  From an actual treasury, merchant account and legal entity perspective it's not quite so easy. As a result of the countries all operating independently, there are requirements to have a legal entity in each country we collect mobile monies or acquired cards.  

Sometimes we can use a legal entity to cover a few jurisdictions and save merchants the hassle and cost of registering legal entities to collect money on their eCommerce website.  We deal mainly with multinational eCommerce companies so we are always looking for ways to make it easier by using our legal entities and merchant accounts in each country for collecting monies which are then disbursed to merchant home countries in the most cost effective manner. 

It is important when it comes to cards for us to acquire with a local bank in a local jurisdiction so that pricing can be in local currency and where necessary disbursed locally for eg in the case of marketplaces and international platforms which are operating for local sales of goods and services.  This makes it easy to ensure local compliance and effective and cost effective local transfers and simple to make royalty payments to international operators.

The bottom line is that growth in Africa is exceptional, bear in mind that each territory is unique so choose a few to open up into initially.  Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are the best places to start with. And where possible we can make it easy by using our own legal entities and aggregator merchant account to collect monies on your behalf.

Give us a shout if you are looking for a solid local payment provider to take care of your card and mobile money payment collections across Africa.