Remember that period during the pandemic when suddenly it became possible to order online goods and services from your local supermarket, hardware store, or favorite restaurant on our islands? Even though, up until that point, it seemed impossible. Fast forward to today, and we can't imagine going back. In fact, people want more. 'When can I finally start using other payment options other than credit cards?'. It's a question we hear a lot. It's one of the reasons why we started Sentoo. You may have seen our ads or heard some buzz. But what is Sentoo, how does it work, and how do you use it? We're bringing you the ultimate guide to the local payment method. Let's jump right into everything you need to know about Sentoo.
What is Sentoo?
Sentoo is a local online payment method that lets you pay from your local bank account to the receiver's local bank account. It bypasses the need for a credit card or e-wallets. Instead of looking up all your transaction details information (invoice number, account number etc. etc.) and without inputting any card information, Sentoo takes you directly to your personal banking website, where you directly confirm the payment.
It's like a super quick way of paying online without painstakingly having to double-check if you've entered all the information correctly. Sentoo already knows who you want to transfer money to (because of where you clicked on the check-out button). The next step is to just select your trusted bank and log in and approve the payment. That's it; the payment is made! And your favorite meal is pre-ordered and paid for – meaning even less waiting time for everyone.
Is Sentoo just for online shopping?
While Sentoo opens up opportunities for merchants who can finally (!) venture into e-commerce, Sentoo is not just for ordering goods online. You can pay your utilities, telephone bills, or other invoices, basically almost anything where Sentoo is offered as a payment option by a business or organization. Allowing shoppers to use their bank accounts for online purchases like with Sentoo is no novelty. One of the most well-known account-to-account payment methods is iDEAL in the Netherlands, which has become synonymous with Dutch online payments. 70% of all e-commerce payment transactions by the Dutch in 2021 were done with iDEAL. In 2017, a staggering 92% of online stores in the Netherlands already offered iDEAL as a payment method. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, analysts predicted that this type of payment method would continue to grow and account for 20% of all e-commerce payments worldwide, surpassing both credit and debit cards by 2023.
How does a Sentoo transaction work?
So, imagine you're behind your desktop and ready to make your first online purchase with Sentoo on a website (a pair of new shoes, maybe?). First, your bank has to offer Sentoo as an option. Currently, Banco di Caribe has the Sentoo functionality in Curacao, Aruba, Caribbean Netherlands, and Sint Maarten, so be on the lookout for it. After that, the steps for Sentoo are very straightforward and easy peasy.
TIP: Soon, many more banks will be announced. If you want to be the first to know, join our list for all the latest updates
- Select Sentoo
Look for the Sentoo logo as a payment option.
- Select your bank
As mentioned, currently Banco di Caribe is the first bank to offer Sentoo. After selecting the bank, you will be redirected to your bank's login page. Or, if you're on mobile, to the mobile banking app.
- Confirm the transaction information
Once logged in, a confirmation screen is shown. It lists the name of the receiver (the merchant), along with the transaction amount. Select the account from which you'll make the payment and confirm the payment.
- Complete the transaction
Now you complete the transaction by using your token for authentication. So that could be done with the well-known bingo card or a small device with the digits. Either way, confirm by filling in your password, pin, or text message code.
- Finalize the transaction
You did it! The bank approves the payment and deducts the amount from your bank account in real-time.
- Merchant receives payment
Immediately after your bank's approval, the merchant receives the payment in their own bank account. To make it even more convenient: an immediate confirmation lets them know that the payment was successful.
- Back to the merchant's page
You are redirected to the merchant's page, where you receive a confirmation that the payment was successful. Your transaction is complete!
So where do I sign up?!
One of the main advantages of using Sentoo is that you don't need to sign up. There is no registration. Everyone who wants to use Sentoo to purchase goods or services online can do so for free! Merchants or businesses that want to offer Sentoo as a payment option need a contract with Sentoo (more on that here). If your bank has already joined Sentoo, then you can already use Sentoo to pay online.
Other questions we've been getting lately are about the difference between Sentoo and other payment methods. We'll get into that in the next blog. Stay tuned!