Payment Gateway Options For South Africans

It seems like there has always been an issue with South Africans trying to stay ahead in the Internet Business game. This issue is the one of having a way to accept online payments from clients. In most other countries in the world you have always had a multitude of options, but we always struggled along trying to find one option. Recently though a lot more companies have come to light.

Although I don’t personally use most of them, in one way or form I’ve had to work with every one of the following. I do a lot of web development work, and 80% of the time a payment solution is also required. Due to this I’ve had to implement most, if not all, of the payment gateways that are available for South Africans. Every one of them has their upsides and their downsides.

VCS

This is one of the first payment gateways I had to integrate with a website for a client. What I liked about this was that it provides a simple and secure interface for the client to fill in their credit card details, and then they get directed back to your site for your software to process the order. You are also able to customize the interface using your own logo, so that it feels to the client that they never leave your site.

VCS also offer recurring credit card payments, which makes it ideal for membership sites. The last time I checked, you still needed to have a special Standard Bank account to be able to use VCS.

Setcom / Monsterpay

Setcom was one of the first PayPal-type payment gateways in South Africa that I knew of. When I say PayPal-type, I mean that the purchaser had to also create an account with Setcom, before being able to purchase something from you.

We used this exclusively on our ITC Check website for quite some time. My biggest gripe was that we were losing clients due to people being too lazy to register for an account to be able to pay for their service. The other problem was that Setcom is always on the buyer’s side. This means that if a client has a problem with the product or service they received, Setcom would just refund their money. Sometimes without even consulting us.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to accept payments, I can recommend this service. If you’re just starting out, it also helps that there is no monthly fee associated with this account.

NetCash

The reason we started using Netcash, was to have a debit order facility for our business, CM Computer Services. This is a great facility to have if you have monthly clients, as it helps with cash flow. There is a secure interface where you load up your client’s banking details, and then every month you enter the debit order details that needs to go off their account and into yours.

One client requested that we integrate their accounting system with Netcash’s debit order system. This was done and works seamlessly with their accounting software. Each month the accounting package would just “tell” Netcash how much to withdraw from each client’s bank account.

They then released their Credit Card Payment Gateway service as well. It was similar to VCS, with the distinct difference that you didn’t need a separate banking account. I think the same afternoon I learned about this new service, I signed up and integrated it into our Credit Report site. The integration was done easily, and we haven’t had problems with them since day 1.

This is the one payment gateway I recommend to people whenever they ask me what to use on their site.

I’ve done a lot of integration with Netcash’s Credit Card Payment service. From small 1 product sites, to large multi product shopping carts.

PayPal

Until recently, South Africans could only use PayPal’s service to purchase things from other countries. I must say, with the support that you get from PayPal, your mind is put at ease when you purchase something from a person you’ve never met. There have been a few instances where I’ve requested a refund, and PayPal has helped me. There has just been once where they have not been able to help me, and that certainly has left a bad taste for me.

Anyways, skipping to the present, FNB has now been able to secure a deal where we can use PayPal’s service to also accept payments in South Africa. This is definitely something to explore, because after doing a few integrations for clients on their websites, it’s quite clear that PayPal offers an awesome service. One downside, and quite a big one, is that if you are South African trying to sell to South Africans, you might have a problem. You’re not able to sell your products in Rands. And although other countries might not see this as a problem, a lot of South Africans will still be concerned when they see a site trying to sell something in $. After all, we’ve been taught that $ is evil

On the international sites, I haven’t had any problems. In fact, since introducing PayPal as an option on my Karma Sutra Positions website, the sales have definitely improved. The reason PayPal works so good as a payment gateway is because EVERYONE knows about it and trusts it.

Once you have an account, you can quickly add a Pay by PayPal button on their website that is linked to a unique product code and price that you can easily track within PayPal.

Mygate

This is another payment gateway where I only have experience in implementing the credit card gateway for a client’s online shopping cart. Documentation and implementation guides are very adequate, and it was easy to get this working. It’s also a very similar interface to Netcash and VCS.

An added bonus of this service is that they also offer a debit order service, and from what I understand you don’t need to have a separate Internet merchant bank account to make use of their service.

PayGate

I have not used this on any of my own sites, but I’ve had to do work for 1 client. It was to integrate it into their online shopping cart. The developers documentation and integration procedure was much like that of Netcash and VCS, so it went fairly quickly.

With PayGate you also need to have a special Internet Merchant banking account. And although it’s probably not such a big thing, it does make the whole process of getting the account a lot longer.

2CheckOut

Having had this account for ages, I recently decided to test it out. I’ve done multiple integrations for other people using 2CheckOut, so I knew the process fairly well. Once you’re logged into your account, you can easily add and edit products you want to sell. Then it’s just a case of adding your links to your website to easily track your sales.

The client is presented with a simple screen where they enter their details, and you select what must happen once the transaction goes through. Either a simple email to them, or you can integrate it into your website management software.

I’ve notice they do random fraud checks on transactions as well, so this helps to make sure you don’t get screwed at the end of the month.

2CheckOut is the preferred payment gateway used in the Global Warriors Community.

As with ClickBank, you can also list your products on their Affiliates pages, which allows other people to sell your product for a certain commission.

ClickBank

The only time I’ve made use of ClickBank, was as a promoter of their affiliate products. Recently having had an Illustrated Karma Sutra Positions eBook developed, I looked at all the different ways of selling it. ClickBank is one of them, and the advantage is that thousands of other people can promote your product as well. You need to have a payment system in place already, but this is a nice additional feature to have someone sort out your affiliate payments. So although not strictly a payment gateway, it’s definitely worth knowing about.

Notes

You’ll see I don’t mention the pricing structures for these different services here. T
he reason for that is simple, they are all pretty much the same, or very close to being the same.

Each Payment Gateway Service has their own Terms and Conditions. This will include a list of products and services you are allowed to sell through their service. Always make sure to check that out first, before signing up!

I know it can be difficult to choose a payment gateway supplier. If you want, you can contact me for some feedback on which solution will work best for your needs.

E-Commerce Payment Gateways

The primary reason why you set up a virtual storefront is to make a sale. When visitors see your products, you want them to make a purchase. Services offered by payment gateways are very useful when customers need to pay you for their purchases.

A gateway serves as a channel that can bring a thing from one place to another. When doing eCommerce, a gateway plays an integral role in making verifications and allowing credit card transactions to come through. A payment gateway is an essential component of any online business.

For businesses to be able to accept credit card payments, they need to have a merchant account. Business owners can open a merchant account in the bank where they do their banking transactions. This type of account is where revenue derived from credit card transactions will be transferred after verification by the gateway.

A number of online companies offer payment gateway services for businesses that accept credit card payments. Business owners can choose the payment gateway provider of their choice. However, there are companies that offer a combination of services such as those that offer software packages that include a merchant account and a gateway service option as well.

Setting up the Necessary Accounts

The first thing that you need to do to get started is to open a merchant bank account and payment gateway account. When opening a merchant bank account, make sure that you choose a bank that will accept funds from your payment gateway account. This type of account lets you set up payments between your eCommerce site and your merchant bank account.

Online businesses that accept credit card payments should also have an Internet merchant account. All funds received from credit card payments are transferred from the payment gateway to this account. However, funds only stay in this account temporarily as they will be transferred to another account that a merchant designates beforehand. Transfers are done regularly and automatically.

How Things Work

Below is a step by step account of the process involved in each transaction. There may be a lot of steps involved but remember all these happen in the span of just several seconds.

1. Customers will go to your site and click on a product or products that they wish to purchase. When they are done with their shopping, they will be directed to the checkout page to pay for the products. In this step, they will confirm that they wish to buy the item/s that they have chosen and they will indicate the form of payment that they will use.

2. As soon as payment is done, the transaction will be forwarded to the payment gateway that you have chosen. Through this service, the transaction will be sent to your bank’s processor.

3. Then the transaction will go through the credit card’s network which will then send it to the bank that issued your customer’s credit card.

4. If your customer’s credit limit is enough to pay for all the items, then transaction will be approved. Then it will go through the same path that it has taken.

5. Once the payment gateway gets the message that the transaction is approved, it will inform the customer through your site. Then it will also send information to you, the merchant.

Payment gateways are an indispensable tool if you wish to accept credit card payments in your site. It will free you of the hassle of processing credit card payments manually allowing you to concentrate on the other aspects of your online business.

Is A Bed And Breakfast Right For You?

When you are traveling, you ought to stay somewhere where it is most comfortable. For most travelers, Bed and breakfast services is one of the most favorite options. Choosing such an establishment however, they are not exactly right for everyone. Some factors should be put in consideration when choosing a Bed and Breakfast. If you are the type of person who prefers smaller accommodations as opposed to hotels, such establishment is right for you.

Some people appreciate rooms that are individually decorated with antique and/or period furniture only found in the aforesaid establishment. Furthermore, these establishments also offer communal breakfast that open opportunities among travelers to get to know each other. Such establishments take a rustic setting where it is quieter, and more peaceful. It is also common for these establishments not to accept children and is most preferred by those who want an adults-only accommodation.

What is also good about these establishments is that they offer a setting that is very much similar to our homes. The owner-operators of these establishments give personal attention to guests and make sure that they are property pampered and well taken care of. However, not all travelers prefer the aforesaid establishments, as some are more inclined to choosing hotels due to the presence of amenities such as gyms, swimming pools, room service, and business centers among others. Some prefer hotels for their privacy and anonymity. Regardless, a lot of travelers are still more inclined to choose Bed and Breakfast over large hotels.

When booking for an accommodation, it is still best to call the innkeeper personally despite having booked online. This is to ensure that your personal desires and necessities are settled even before you check-in. It is always possible to bargain for a good price when staying in such an establishment. However, you should always make sure that the price of the room is inclusive of the breakfast because these establishments tend to not include the price of breakfasts in the cost of rooms. Inquire also as to when breakfast is served.

Other than these concerns, you should also ask whether the rest rooms are provided in the room or are to be shared with other guests in a common rest room. If you prefer to have a personal rest room, this should be told the innkeeper. As regards to payment, it is imperative to ask whether credit cards are accepted or not. This is important so that you are apprised as to what kind of payment you will do in settling your account with the aforesaid establishment.

The 5 Best Songs of Bob Seger – Classic Rock Review and Trivia Question

Bob Seger is known for his rock music, love ballads and with that classic raspy voice of his you even get the bar room bluesy songs that his fans love.

Most fans feel that his greatest success came from the release of the now classic rock cd, Live Bullet. This was recorded at Cobo Hall in 1975. He is a master story-teller. Stranger In Town was his 2nd release with The Silver Bullet Band. It has fantastic arrangements and recordings from The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section on it. Bob Seger always comes across as if he were writing and relating directly to all us average people around the world.

One of his songs was used in one of the most memorable movie scenes ever made. My trivia question to you is: Can you name the 1983 classic movie starring Tom Cruise that featured Bob Seger’s hit song, Old Time Rock & Roll? I will give the answer after I name my choices of the 5 best Bob Seger songs.

Old Time Rock & Roll is the song that really set things up for Bob Seger. You can’t help but sing along and it leaves you feeling really good about life. Music lovers will always remember the dance that is associated with this song.

From the opening notes of the saxophone in Turn The Page, you are captured. It is a journey through time, life on the road and a day in the life of a rock star. Bob Seger paints you a picture and tells you a story that drags you right into his world. Nobody does this quite like he does and that is what makes this one of the best classic rock songs ever written.

Hollywood Nights is yet another perfectly created story about the discovery of love and the inevitable loss of it. This song is so beautifully sung, that even the hurt leaves you feeling good.

We’ve Got Tonight is the best in Bob Seger ballads. It is perfect for slow dancing and has become one of the top graduation dance theme songs. This song was written for all of us who have ever been in love.

Roll Me Away is a perfect driving song. It is also what I call a daydreamers paradise. Every time I hear this song I find myself getting caught on every word. It has a fantastic, medium paced tempo and delivers one of the most fantasized thoughts ever written. Close your eyes and let this music take you away.

Every time Bob Seger releases an album, it is an event. He has a way of touching the heart and soul of all who listen to him. He can take an average song and make it perfect.

Now for the answer to my trivia question. The 1983 classic movie starring Tom Cruise that featured Old Time Rock & Roll is Risky Business.

Finding The Best Deals For Sea World and Busch Gardens Tickets In Time For Spring Break

Busch Gardens is a lot of fun for kids of all ages, and one of those family vacation spots that is unique and memorable. The park is always working on improvements and creating new attractions, and you can count on having a new experience almost every time you visit. One of the best aspects of visiting Busch Gardens is that you can find discounts and coupons in many different places that will make the trip a more affordable outing. If you are planning to take the family to Busch Gardens in the near future, here are a few suggestions for finding discounts and coupons to defray the costs of the day.

Multi-Park Tickets

Since most people plan on visiting Sea World and Busch Gardens during the same trip, look for multi-park tickets or park hopper passes. These tickets let you visit both parks on separate days, but since you buy them together you can get a discount. It’s cheaper than purchasing tickets separately and worth it if you plan on going to both Sea World and Busch Gardens.

Coupons and Discount Passes

There are websites devoted to coupons for people visiting theme parks with their families. You can find single passes for the adults in your party and for children ages 3-9. If you will be able to visit the park more than one day, then it will make sense for you to purchase a year long pass. Right now, these have been discounted and are the cost of a one day ticket. Members of “Triple A” also qualify for a discount from Busch Gardens. If you show your membership card at the gate, you can get $5 off each ticket.

Chamber of Commerce

Every city has its own chamber of commerce, and they serve to attract visitors for the businesses in their area. You no longer have to get the coupons in the mail, they offer the discounts directly from their websites. Busch Gardens will give some of their best discounts to the Chamber of Commerce, because they know that travelers check these websites first.

Other Money Saving Tips

Try to plan your visit for off peak travel times. Not only will you have shorter waits in line for the rides, but often Busch Gardens will offer their best coupons for times when they expect fewer visitors. A trip to the theme park can be a long day in the hot sun for everyone in your group. Since your tickets are good for the whole day, consider leaving during the hottest part of the day, eating lunch off the grounds, and then returning to the park.

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Concrete is one of the most popular materials used in the construction industries. It can be used to build roads, driveways, pavements, walls and swimming pools, as well as many other things. This article takes a look at several of the most popular types of concrete equipment.

Truck Mixers

Truck mixers are used to transport and mix large volumes of concrete. They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, the type you choose should depend on the volume of concrete that you need to mix. One of the most popular types of truck mixer is the CIFA SL range. The SL truck mixers are extremely lightweight and easy to operate, and they are currently available in five different capacities: 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 cubic metres. The LTh35 mixer is a mixer which is suitable for mixing smaller batches of concrete, as it can accommodate up to 3.5 cubic metres. This type of truck is more suitable for smaller areas that are harder to access and navigate.

Concrete Pumps

A concrete pump is a piece of machinery that is designed to transfer liquid concrete. It is most commonly used on construction sites where a large amount of concrete is needed. Many concrete pumps are truck mounted so that they can be attached and transported on the back of a large truck. CIFA concrete pumps provide a powerful pumping system that can also be easily adjusted and positioned. Portable pumps are suitable for smaller projects that don’t require such a large amount of concrete.

Batching Plants

A batching plant, also known as a concrete plant, is a piece of machinery that is used to combine several ingredients together to make the concrete. They can vary in size; the type you choose should depend on how much cement you will need to mix in one batch. Some batching plants are transportable and can be moved on the back of a large trailer.

Silos are used to store cement in. They will keep the cement materials protected from the elements, while providing a convenient storage area for the mixture. Silos are available in a huge range of sizes.

Mining Equipment

Shotcrete mining equipment is used to create small tunnels and to mine materials. The CIFA Spritz shotcrete miner is a popular choice for small to medium sized business that require mining equipment. The CIFA CST8.20 is a larger and more powerful option that has a precise nozzle head which can accurately dig and mine.

When you are purchasing any type of concrete equipment or machinery, always check you are buying from a reputable and trusted source. If you need a piece of equipment for a short period of time only, then you may be better off by hiring it rather than purchasing it. Some of the larger vehicles and machinery may require a special permit in order for you to legally operate it. Some concrete equipment suppliers will sell second hand concrete equipment at a heavily discounted price.