Have you been looking at how to accept Credit Cards on Shopify in the Caribbean but have been unable to find the information you need to take advantage of the Shopify platform?
Well, this article is for you.
The name Shopify is pretty synonymous with e-commerce and for most Caribbean folks, when they think of launching a product-based business…the first platform that comes to mind is Shopify.
It’s a dedicated e-commerce platform designed to help you build your online store without the need or worry about tech skills to use and is also one of the top platforms that you can use if you are looking to start a dropshipping business as they offer a wide variety of integrations to drop shipping partners.
Listen the platform is feature-packed and tailor-made for e-commerce.
Now in saying all of that…there are tools on the market that can analyse the websites coming out of a country and check on the tech that they are using.
And surprisingly but not surprisingly – 295 websites are using the Shopify platform in TT.
There are 208 websites that use Shopify in Jamaica.
One of the reasons why these numbers are low is due to the payment options – getting paid on Shopify is something that most people do not know how to do.
Pulling up a few websites in Trinidad and Jamaica.
Some businesses offered credit card payments but most did not make this option available and instead opted to allow for Cash on Delivery, Bank Deposits or even taking credit card payments over the phone.
So let’s break down how to go about taking credit card payments on Shopify and hopefully, this will open things up for you.
You will need to select your e-commerce plans from Shopify or Wix. Shopify plans start at US$39 per month and Wix e-Commerce plans start at US$17 per month.
You need a merchant account from your bank, it may also be referred to as an e-commerce account which is different from your business account. Reach out to the business team where your business account is set and ask them about the Merchant account. There is a fee associated with these accounts and it varies with every single bank.
Here are the fees for the merchant accounts in Trinidad and Tobago and they will be different in each Caribbean island.
For TT, the fees for the merchant account are as follows:
Scotiabank – US$200 a month: 25 US cents per transaction and you negotiate the percentage fee.
Republic Bank – US$75 a month: 25 US cents per transaction, three to five per cent per transaction fee.
Royal Bank – US$150 a month, 50 US cents per transaction, three per cent per transaction fee.
First Citizens Bank – US$100, 25 US cents per transaction, three per cent per transaction fee.
CIBC – US$300,000 capital, 15 US cents transaction fee, four per cent per transaction fee (monthly fee unknown).
Now, remember, these fees are just for the merchant account; you still must pay your Shopify/Wix fees on top of that.
The third step is to contact First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) and you must open up an account with them. You must have a merchant account because FAC is the payment gateway that will process your payments online and they need to deposit those funds to the bank. They deposit the funds to your merchant account within 24-48 hours.
You can also contact FAC and they can help you get your merchant account set up in your country.
You will need to set up an account with Tilopay. They are the official partners with FAC and Shopify/Wix, which will connect your FAC payment gate to your Shopify and Wix websites. They take one per cent per transaction.
You also have the option of using PayPal as the payment processor for your Shopify or Wix website. If you Google how to get paid on PayPal in the Caribbean, you will see quite a few articles and videos on YouTube to set this up.
These are the steps needed to start accepting credit card payments on these two popular website platforms if you are living in the Caribbean.
On paper, it may look or sound expensive but remember you are building a business and these fees are nominal in comparison to the expenses of having a brick-and-mortar store.
The cheapest way to do e-Commerce throughout the Caribbean is still using WordPress and WiPay. WordPress hosting fees start from as low as US$2 per month and WiPay does not have a monthly service fee, just a per transaction fee. You also do not need a merchant account from the banks. WordPress does take some more know-how to build your website but there are simple ways to get it done using WordPress and popular page builders like Elementor.
I hope this article helps you out in your e-commerce journey.
Keron Rose is a digital strategist who works with Caribbean entrepreneurs to build their digital presence and monetise their platforms. Learn more at KeronRose.com or listen to the Digipreneur FM podcast on Apple Podcast/Spotify/Google Podcast.