Performancing launched an advertising network for bloggers today. I was pretty interested to find out how they would implement this system, but more so how they would pay us bloggers.
So after reading a couple of reviews on the new Performancing Partners, (most notably Problogger.net), I logged in to my account, hit the partners program, and the ugliest word stared me in the face…
I love Paypal and the simplicity of paying and receiving money online, as well as the endless opportunities it offers on the web. The big but in this is Paypal is not accepted in South Africa, thanks to SARS. We can setup a Paypal account to use it to pay others or transfer money into other Paypal accounts, but we cannot have anyone pay us.
The reason SARS won’t allow Paypal, is the fact that they want their share of the pie, for when you get paid. If you are using Paypal, they cannot track money coming into our country, and therefore cannot get paid.
This is just another reason to add to our online problems (along with Telkom’s ridiculous bandwidth pricing etc).
Think about this scenario. I’ve decided that I want to sell funky designed T-shirts online. Something along the lines of Threadless.com. I design a simple website with pictures of my T-shirts. I have a hosting account setup, which is lank cheap – R20pm (or even find free hosting at worst), and that’s afforable right?
Step 2. Now I need to be able for people to buy my T-shirts online! I’m an American, so I pop into my Paypal account, create a shopping cart, pop that into my small website and now it’s gone all e-commerce! Cool I say! Paypal takes 2.5% to 3.5% of every transaction, as well as 30c. The big factor in this is, if I don’t sell 1 T-shirt, I won’t have to pay a cent. No risks = no loss.
Now imagine this scenario in South Africa. There is no free online credit card processing shop that I can use. So I have to fork over at least R100pm for this functionality. What started as a small hobby, now means if I don’t sell, I’m losing money every month! That American guy is smiling because although he isn’t selling, at least his hobby isn’t costing him anything, and if his site all of a sudden takes off in 6 months time, he hasn’t wasted more than R600 on credit card processing.
The moral of this story is that not being able to stick a simple Paypal button on our websites, means dozens of budding entrepreneurs in SA are being put off the whole e-commerce thing, and will try to apply their trade elsewhere. Some will pay the bucks to start online businesses, but others just don’t have the capital to start, but they do have somre really awesome ideas.
I love this country, and everything it has to offer, but sometimes I really feel we are moving backwards, rather than forwards when it comes to the internet and e-commerce. Just for interests sake, the co-founder of Paypal, Elon Musk is South African. Imagine Paypal was a South African company. How much would SARS be making off them? A globally accepted form of payment processing is raking in billions of dollars annually, of which SA is seeing zero. It really is a shame.
Update: Check out the list of countrie’s Paypal supports. SA is in the Send Money to Anyone in the Growing PayPal Network group.