The e-Commerce businesses in Ethiopia have been steadily increasing in recent years. There are a number of reasons for this, including the growing number of internet users in the country, the increasing use of mobile devices and to some extent the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the e-Commerce sector is still in its early stages in Ethiopia but with the development of the ecosystem and the implementation of the Digital Ethiopia 2025 strategy, it is expected that it will continue to grow in the country.
And, when it comes to e-Commerce, the payment system is one of the most important aspects of the ecosystem and the process. This is because, in order for customers to be able to purchase goods and services online, businesses need to have a payment solution in place. In this blog post, we will take a look at Visa’s Cybersource online payment solution, which Bank of Abyssinia introduced to the Ethiopian market, and how it works. We will also take a look at some of the main features and benefits of the service and how it can benefit businesses. Finally, we will take a look at some of the security concerns associated with online payments, and how Visa’s Cybersource solution keeps online transactions safe and secure.
E-commerce payment gateway
An e-commerce payment gateway is a service or solution that allows businesses to accept cards and other electronic payments over the internet. A payment gateway typically works by encrypting sensitive personal information, such as debit, credit or prepaid card numbers, to prevent fraud and protect the data from being intercepted by third parties. And, in order for e-Commerce businesses to accept payments online from customers, they need to use a payment gateway for their platforms.
And, there are a few other types of e-commerce payment solutions in the market. However, Visa’s Cybersource solution provided by Bank of Abyssinia is the choice by many e-commerce businesses in Ethiopia right now.
Benefits of the payment solution for businesses
E-commerce payment gateways provide a number of benefits for businesses. The first thing is that it highly helps to increase sales by allowing businesses to accept card payments from customers who may not have access to other forms of payment. In addition, payment gateways can also help to reduce fraud by encrypting sensitive information and protecting it from being captured by third parties. Moreover, payment gateways can provide businesses with valuable data about their customers, such as their spending habits and payment preferences.
One of the most popular e-Commerce businesses in Ethiopia is Deliver Addis, it is mainly a food delivery e-commerce platform that allows customers to order their favorite meal from restaurants in Addis and have it delivered right to their doorsteps. It is a convenient way to enjoy a delicious meal without having to leave the comfort of home or office. By simply going online and ordering from the Deliver Addis’s website or app, anyone can have their food delivered right to their door within minutes.
To do their business, Deliver Addis offers different payment options, such as mobile banking transfer, cash on delivery and international debit/credit card payment.
Let’s hear what their experiences with Visa’s Cybersource payment solution look like:
“We at Deliver Addis have been using Bank of Abyssinia’s payment platform since 2021. We take pride in being among the initial customers of the bank using this service.
The payment platform has enabled us to attract and retain customers who are using international cards. We are excited to learn that Bank of Abyssinia has also started supporting the local card on the platform, and we look forward to continuing to serve both our local and international clients on this platform.
And, we are very appreciative of the support we have gotten from the team since the rolling out of the online payment platform in our ordering system.” Firehiwot Molalign-Chief Finance Officer, Deliver Addis.
Visa’s Cybersource offers a variety of features to make online payments easy and secure, including fraud detection, transaction management, payment configuration and customer support. Cybersource also provides businesses with the ability to process refunds and returns. In addition, it offers a variety of reports and analytics to help businesses track their payment processing activities effectively. Let’s also look at some of the other main features briefly:
This feature is a powerful tool that helps businesses automate their fraud detection and prevention processes. The feature uses AI, ML and data from multiple sources to help businesses make more informed decisions about which transactions to approve or decline. The system also provides businesses with tools to customize their fraud detection and prevention strategies. Overall, the Decision Manager feature is an effective way for businesses to reduce fraud and improve their process.
Invoicing is one of the key features of Cybersource’s e-commerce payment processing solution, especially for businesses that do not have a website. With Invoicing, businesses can send invoice links directly to their customers through email or any other social media messaging apps, and customers can pay their invoices online with a credit or debit card using the links sent to them. This solution avoids the need for a website as businesses can easily create payment links for customized or tailored price packages. This is especially helpful and active for Tour and Travel, Guest Houses and Export businesses. It also makes it easier for customers to make payments, as they can easily view and pay their invoices online using the links sent to them simply without the need to use a merchant website.
To process a payment, customers are required to enter their payment information, including their name, billing address, and debit or prepaid card number. Once they have entered this information, they will be able to submit the payment for processing. The system will then charge the customer’s card and deposit the funds into the merchant account.
Tokenization is a process of retaining and remembering a customer’s payment data element by substituting it with a non-sensitive equivalent, referred to as a token. Tokenization can be used for credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information. In the context of card payments, tokenization replaces a customer’s credit card number (PAN) with random numbers, called payment token, that has no value and cannot be used for fraud.
Cybersource’s virtual terminal is a feature that enables merchants or businesses to process a payment simply by having the payment data of the customer without her/his presence.
This service also enables businesses to effect card transactions without the need for a physical point-of-sale (POS) terminal.
(This feature is not active for the time being.)
The account management feature of the Cybersource payment gateway allows businesses to assign different roles and responsibilities to different department employees. This allows for a more accurate and efficient transaction process. This tool also provides merchants with the ability to view all transactions, search for specific transactions, and filter transactions by status. Moreover, it allows merchants to more easily keep track of their sales activity and better assess their business performance.
One of the concerning aspects of online payment is its security. In this regard, Visa’s Cybersource solution is considered as reliable, conducting a record of 60 billion transactions weekly worldwide through its system.
The security feature of the payment gateway is highly advanced and known as 3-D Secure. 3-DS is designed to be an additional security layer for online card transactions. It adds an authentication step for cardholders at the time of purchase. It is also done with a one-time password (OTP) that is sent to the cardholder’s mobile phone. This highly secured authentication process helps to reduce fraud and protects both the cardholder and merchant from fraudulent charges.
There are many businesses that can benefit from the payment gateway solution. If any business sells products or services online, then it will definitely need a way for its customers to pay online. And, this could be using or allowing international cards with a foreign currency or accepting domestic e-commerce-enabled cards with a local currency. Bank of Abyssinia has been issuing domestic e-commerce-enabled cards and is now finalized to go live for an online payment solution in local currency.
Finally, a team of highly skilled software and application developers at Bank of Abyssinia assists businesses with the integration of the payment gateway API. And, there are various technical ways to integrate the payment gateway API into an e-commerce platform. This could be in the form of normal integration, non-code integration with additional plugins and the other is integration with some coding and module designs.
And, businesses that sell products or services online, Fintech companies, and Banks are eligible to use the solution.
To learn more about the integration process, the service payment, and the e-commerce payment system in general you may use our customer service toll-free number 8397 or contact the Bank of Abyssinia, Online Banking Department at the Head Office in person.
Bank of Abyssinia The choice for All!
By ALEMAYEHU SIMENEH