Times they are a changing in Ghana, as we slowly move towards are more cashless society and trying to adopt more electronic means of payments. It’s fun to see how different players are taking advantage of this new area to try and establish dominance in the space.
I can count at least 5 players currently in the running including:
and many more. The various banks are also trying to build their own solutions to cut out the middle men, like GCB (with LitePay, Zenith and GT Bank with their various web acquiring solutions as well). The competition is really interesting to watch and I think Ghanaians will be better for it all in the long run.
As a developer though, I take keen interest in each of these platforms not solely a user, but as an engineer who has to integrate with them on some level for company projects like Memberz.Org or for any of our customers who might like to integrate these solutions into their websites or applications.
There is a varying degree of complexity of integration for each of the platforms mentioned above, and so far I have not tried them all. However, browsing through the documentation of each of the above solutions is interesting since it reveals the methodology and ideologies behind their creation and implementation. Some offer pure API level integration, and others offer a mix of pre-built forms and widgets for inserting into your app or website. I personally don’t like the second option very much since it offers little flexibility for customization of the payment work flow, and usually prefer the first option. Nonetheless, these are good for integrating with E-Commerce and Content Management Systems, so they have their place.
Again, most of the providers do not seem to trust their customers to have secure web applications or sites, so you are often required (forced) to redirect to their various payment processing pages to complete transactions, which is not too bad in most cases, but often offers a jarring experience for users when they are presented with two different looking websites for a single task or transaction.
Hopefully, in the near future, as more Ghanaian websites adopt SSL (Secure Socket Layer) as a standard feature for website protection, we would be able to have more direct API level integration with payment providers, with fewer redirects off our websites for processing transactions.
The team and I at Matrix Designs are working to integrate as many of these payment platforms into our membership management solution Memberz.Org to facilitate the process of taking payments from members for things such as monthly dues, donations, pledges, tithes and much more, with the necessary e-receipts sent via email and SMS.
So far it has been a relatively painless process to integrate these solutions and we hope to have as many as solutions as possible to reach the widest number of customers.
So if you are a payment provider looking to have your platform integrated with Memberz.Org, do drop us a line at support[at]memberz.org and we’ll get in touch.