Consumers and local businesses will now be able to conduct online transactions, after a new online payment solution – WiPay of Trinidad and Tobago – was launched on Thursday.
WiPay is a next-generation provider of payment solutions, using innovative technology to not only enable customers who are outside of the banking system to partake in the online and e-commerce space, but also allow local businesses to accept payments online.
According to a WiPay press release, the new online payment gateway offers a world class payment solution for Guyanese businesses that want to sell their products and services online. Getting started is free, quick, easy and secure, and the payment solution’s gateway allows businesses to accept payments from both credit and debit cards, and for the “un-carded”, through a top-up system.
So far in Guyana, the drive to go online has been slow. It has been difficult for businesses to tap into the online market, given that it is a technical and costly process, with credit card penetration being as low as 10 per cent.
Currently, Guyana’s internet penetration is approaching 40%, with mobile penetration around 74% and with the government’s increased focus on building a modern economy through digital payments, the country is accelerating its development toward the right ecosystem to facilitate economic growth through e-commerce.
“Imagine sitting at home in [the] hinterland and receiving payments all the way from your customers in Georgetown without ever having to actually set foot in Georgetown. Or imagine picking up the phone in Berbice and calling Caribbean Airlines from the comfort of your home to pay for an airline ticket over the phone with ‘cash’. This will be launching very soon. WiPay is transforming the way we do business in Guyana and the Carib-bean, making payments easy and accessible to all,” the company’s CEO, Aldwyn Wayne, was quoted as saying.
Businesses will be able to make and receive payments online by downloading the WiPay plugin for free and integrating it on their websites or mobile app. For businesses without websites, they will be able to use WiPay’s ‘Send an Invoice’ feature to send an electronic invoice to a customer’s email who can then pay with either a credit card or ‘cash’ from within the email window, the release added.
WiPay’s approach of allowing ‘cash’ payments online follows the already familiar mobile ‘Top Up’ culture that exists in the Caribbean. A customer can simply go to any authorised WiPay partner location and purchase a ‘WiPay Top Up’ for the required amount. The customer can then use the Top Up’s unique 12-digit code to make a ‘cash’ payment online to any business that uses WiPay’s payment gateway, the statement explained.
It added that they consider security to be of the “utmost importance and critical” to the ongoing operations of the business. As a result, the payment platform is built on distributed ledger technology, which it said ensures the “highest levels of reliability, redundancy and data immutability.”
According to the release, the company uses state-of-the-art encryption to protect the integrity of the customers’ data and payment details. As a result, they do not store any credit card information but redirect the cardholder from the business’ website to a separate and secure PCI DSS server where the customer enters their information.
WiPay’s headquarters are located in Trinidad and Tobago, while offices have been established in Jamaica, St. Lucia and now Guyana.