Cash, debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets. The number of ways merchants and businesses receive payments from their customers has increased drastically over the years. Making sure that your customers can pay however they want, wherever they want, means offering the right mix of payment methods. Sentoo, for instance, is an online payment method that differs from, let’s say, a credit card. To ensure you’re providing the best payment method (and increasing your sales), you need to know the differences between the available options.
Why offer multiple online payment methods?
If you know your customers, then you know how they want to pay. More and more consumers on our Caribbean islands expect to see more online payment options. Not having the option to accept online payments puts your business at a disadvantage. It’s all about creating a more convenient, secure, and seamless experience. But what are the primary online payment methods?
A very popular payment method has always been the credit card. It allows consumers to shop online on a line of pre-approved credit. In other words, money that they’ll pay back later. The best-known credit card companies are Visa and Mastercard. Accepting credit card payments offers merchants flexibility, while also offering consumers protection by allowing them to request refunds on disputed charges directly at their bank.
A debit card is somewhat of a sibling of a credit card. This payment method deducts money directly from a consumer’s bank account. Not all local banks in the Dutch Caribbean currently offer debit cards that can be used for online shopping. The debit card is not to be confused with the commonly used traditional Maestro card used for daily use at stores (PIN or tap) or ATMs.
Did you know? Over the next few years, the Maestro card (which is owned by Mastercard) will be replaced by Debit Mastercard, because it’s more suited to cater to today’s modern consumers and their online transactions. Maestro will be taken out of circulation by July 2027.
Online banking or internet banking is when the consumer logs in to the bank’s secure online environment and makes a transaction directly from their bank account to anyone they want. It’s a popular and widely available payment method because everyone with a bank account can access online banking. While it’s one of the easiest ways to have consumers make a payment, online banking doesn’t connect directly to a webshop and is sensitive to errors when filling in payment details (remember that time you almost forget to place a comma?).
The new kid on the block is the e-wallet or digital wallet. The e-wallet is a virtual wallet in which a consumer deposits money in a wallet which then can be used to make online payments. While it’s been around since 1997 (originally introduced by Coca Cola!), the modern version has come a long way. Instead of carrying cash or cards, the user’s payment information is stored on a smart device like a phone or watch, protected by encryption. Some platforms require additional verification via biometric scans. Digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Ali Pay, and Amazon Pay are becoming increasingly popular. One disadvantage to the digital wallet is that merchants may need to manage multiple wallet integrations, which, unfortunately, is more time-consuming, complex, and costly.
So, where does Sentoo fit in?
Sentoo is an online payment method that is also known as an account-to-account (A2A) payment method. An A2A payment is simply where you pay online from your own local bank account to the receiver's local bank account. It bypasses the need for a credit card or e-wallets. Over the past 10 years, A2A payments have been on the rise. New technology and a better payment infrastructure have enabled growth. In the Netherlands, Dutch consumers have fully embraced iDEAL, which might be the best example of an A2A payment system. Merchants benefit from reach (anyone with a bank account), security (multi-factor authentication provided by the bank), great conversion (no data entry), lower costs (no intermediaries), and all payments are final.
To learn more about the benefits of Sentoo, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch if you’re ready to offer your customers the local online payment method they’ve been looking for.