merchant account for online services

TheHun

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I'm thinking about to set up an online store targeting DR consumers. It can not be exist without the usual shopping cart and online credit card processing.
Here is the problem, when I talked to my CardNet rep (I do take credit cards in my business in a regular way) she said those services are not really available in the DR. WTH???
She was not really clear about it.
I wonder if anyone has an online store set up in the DR who could give me some info / advice?
To set up an online store, or to get into online credit card processing is an easy step in the US or EU.
I can't believe it's not available here.
PayPal would be an option, however PP is not a banking institute, therefor your money isn't secured. They can hold your $ and there is not much you can do about it, since banking laws won't regulate them. They have their own rules and that's it.
Please, if you know any online store based in the DR who takes CC trough their website, or have any other info about web based CC processing, please let me know!
Thank you!

The Hun
 

MikeFisher

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Feb 28, 2006
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would not know of one til now.
i have for my own business for the credit card processing visanet dominicana and cardnet, requested since a long time from both what you are asking for, and it's still a negative.
on the other hand, even with the known negatives on PayPal, i use it since years and never had a problem, been under invest for money laundering once due to a big raise in the monthly movements/transactions, took just 4 days providing my dominican company papers and tax statements and since then all is fine.
on the other side i turned lately to the point animating customers to more cash, away from the credit cards, much 'easier', lol.
but if someone has such system here i would of course be interested to get the info, too.
Mike
 

TheHun

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Mike,
I'll let you know if I figure out more.
I was thinking to use a US merchant service, but I don't know if that would work, since the business based here. Maybe if the server is in the US, but than I guess I have to file taxes there also.
An other problem is they will convert peso to dollar ad charge a lot
for the exchange, later I have to convert it back to pesos, just way too much loss.. So I just damped this idea.
I guess I have to stuck with PayPal.
Do you have many dominican customer who choose PP to pay for your services?
Thanks for your response.
The Hun
 

MikeFisher

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no Hun,
my very most customers come from the outside, the dominican regulars of mine are anyways cash clients to get their 'best rate'.
my latest notice about the american merchant accounts(it was last summer when i checked for the last time) been that you need an american business bank account to do so, in such case of course US taxes would apply.
i used for 3 years a swedish provider which sorrily closed it's doors 2 years ago, they comfortably paid the incoming money on my dominican dollar account, so for me with mostly american and canadian clients that been very convenient in case of exchange rates.
currency exchange rates and transfer fees can really suck, that's right, i saw that this month again running the german big game championship here at the Marina, of course all participants are germans with german euro accounts, and of course they used the transfer fee free option to pay all to my german bank account, so the transfer fees and also exchange rates over here to my dollar account been a factor, i've been lucky that the euro strengthened a good bit during the process so i could cover the transfer fees, could also have been the opposite, been just luck.
but to see how much less the euro is worth here compared to it's real value against the dollar it was not worth to send the money on a dominican euros account and exchange in pesos then.
an other option for good exchanged transfers would be to use a american account with a debit card to it, so you can take the PayPal money to there for free and use the money with the debit card here everywhere in shops or take it out of ATM's for a good exchange rate without transfer fees, but such is of course only useful as long as you don't plan to move larger amounts of money that way.
i would happily install a merchant on my website which gives me the possibility to get that money transfered/credited on my dominican pesos or better dollar account.
i could imagine that on such way a good bunch of taxes would also come in the gubmin's pocket, what we get by credit cards runs automatically throu DGII and shows up on our monthly tax statements and the local banks would get much more money to move.
Mike
 

Robert

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Forget CardNet or VisaNet for online processing here, they are a pain.
Their API's are hard to work with and they are really not set up to do online processing. Plus their rates are ridiculous.

The only half decent option in the DR is done by a Colombian company. Soluciones de Recaudo Electronico, pagos en l?nea en Colombia y Republica Dominicana | eCollect, Recaudos, PSE Colombia, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Credencial, Diners, VisaNet, CardNet |

If your serious about processing, then you need to do it out of the USA.
The rates are much better and they understand what "online" means.
 

MikeFisher

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howdy Robert,
will check your link out right now.
keep the info coming guys, i can imagine that TheHun and myself are by far not the only businessmen on the Isle who want to raise their online sales.
you are right about running such processing out of the USA,
but if you do not have a american company,
if you are not even an american citizen but work 95% with american and canadian customers like i do myself,
what solution would you recommend?

every lil hint appreciated
Mike
 

MikeFisher

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again Robert,
thanks a lot for that interesting link,
i never before heard about that company.
been reading throu their page and a few minutes ago i dropped them a mail to request detailled info specifically for my kind of business.
when i get an answer back i will post the results/experience right here.
enjoy this lovely sunday
Mike
 

TheHun

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I believe you can pay by credit card on the mandale website www.mandale.com.do

See FAQ Mandale
Robert,
Great info! :bunny::bunny:
I will check them out Monday.
As Mike said, there must be others who needs this info also.

Mike,
If I remember correctly, you have a fishing charter business?
Could you send me a link to your website, please?
Thanks!
The Hun
 

MikeFisher

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yes, it is a sportfishing charter business.
it is the branded forum of the east coast section here on the bord, usually not hard to find.
at least Robert sold me that AD b/c everybody will find me right away, ha ha ha.
just kidding.
i've been reading throu their whole website and from the first sight i like what i see, so i dropped them a detailled note by their contact form to request more detailled info specifically for my website/business with an offer including rates/fees aso.
will let you know right away when i get an answer.
i am up in the mountains again tomorrow and tuesday,
so hpefully i receive an answer when back down here.

Robert,
their Dominican Main office is in Santo Domingo,
do you know some of those people in person?

on such cases i would prefer a personal meeting of course over a e-mail chat, on such service sales with online payments involved which run throu many different countries/jurisdictions before the money reaches it's destin are always many questions involved, considering fees/taxes/currencies! aso.
i.e. i had formerly my physically(not online) credit card processing with Visanet Dominicana connected with a dominican based US$ account, such has huge advances due to no need for currency exchanges b/c my customers nearly all pay in US$ currency. but that service been stopped a long while ago, since then my credit card processing(physically, not online) is connected to my dominican Pesos business account (BHD bank), which provides me with more pesos than i would like to have and more important, the billing voucher for the customer who buys a product priced in US$ currency has to sign a voucher in dominican pesos currency, often with the illegally low hotel exchange rates in mind.
the clear credit card billing in US$ for a service sold in US$ looks much more serious/professional and is of course confusion free.
Mike
 

Robert

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Mike, the person you need to speak with is "Robert Galvez Botero", he's Colombian, but knows the business very well.

Notes from some of our past email exchanges that might help.

--------------

Unfortunately, the D.R. isn?t actually a high transactional market in order to handle lower fees (It?ll be in a couple of years); although we strongly believe that over time we would be able to considerably lower these fees for the good of the market.

Something to take into account is that we cannot compare merchant fees in USA or Europe with local ones. Unfortunately VisaNet is charging higher fees for online transactions (close to 3.8%) and CardNet is charging a crazy fee close to 6%, with the argumentation of ?cost covers security risks?.

If you ask me about the difference of cost between VisaNet and AvisorTech, for example, if you take transactions over RD3.000, you would have to pay us a difference of approximately 1.35% over VisaNet?s overall fees, including taxes. Now, if your transaction is around RD10.000, the difference between VisaNet and Avisortech goes down to 0.40% and if the transaction is over RD20.000, difference lowers to 0.21%. Now, for transactions under RD3000, the difference is much higher and I would definitely recommend VisaNet directly.
 

TheHun

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" If you ask me about the difference of cost between VisaNet and AvisorTech, for example, if you take transactions over RD3.000, you would have to pay us a difference of approximately 1.35% over VisaNet?s overall fees, including taxes. Now, if your transaction is around RD10.000, the difference between VisaNet and Avisortech goes down to 0.40% and if the transaction is over RD20.000, difference lowers to 0.21%. Now, for transactions under RD3000, the difference is much higher and I would definitely recommend VisaNet directly. "

Great information!
Yes, they are a bit higher than VisaNet, but still lower than CardNet. Over DR$ 20.000 the difference is not even significant,
and if someone makes a living off of an online store- which has only CC processing- it has to have many thousands of US$ transaction. The most important thing is with them we can process CC through the web.

The Hun
 

MikeFisher

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Feb 28, 2006
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great info Robert, very appreciated.
right TheHun,
transactions in my case would always be over 3.000.- pesos b/c the most common transaction for my business is the one where customers pay a deposit for their charter, minimum deposit amounts are $100.-US.
and the other point is that VisaNet and CardNet both DO NOT have online cardprocessing running, that means the needed service is NOT AVAILABLE. they are just good to accept credit cards(Amex excluded) for the rest payments right here on board of my boats.

btw,
the actual processing fees which i pay are for VisaNet 4% of the transaction amount including that they provide the Verifone of course, that VeriFone is a landline based one, not wireless, so only good to use at the office.
on CardNet i pay 5% of the transaction amount plus a monthly fixed fee of 1.350.- pesos which includes the rent of the wireless VeriFone to process customers credit cards right on board of my boats, a service well worth those few monthly pesos.

the huge difference between VisaNet and CardNet is that VisaNet since january 16th 2009 can only accept Visa Cards, nothing else,
while CardNet allows me to accept the whole crowd of credit and debit cards(exception is Amex, but that one i don't need anyways), so for that the 1% higher rate on CardNet is reasonable because they provide a much higher service, i also prefer their customers service much over the very slow VisaNet service provided.

what i need and also TheHun who started the thread is to accept customers payment by credit/debit cards online,
VisaNet and CardNet do not offer those services.
both tell me since a long time they soon will do so, but till today none of them offered me to start such services.
i will wait for the answer of the Colombians.
if their services are in the reasonable range i sure will get in closer touch with them. an overall fee of 0.5-1.5% over the CardNet fees would be a reasonable difference for me to calculate in my customers rates without raisng the rates for my services.
hopefully i can get back here with more news soon.
thanks for all the provided info
Mike
 

TheHun

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something new???
i dropped 2 e-mails throu their website's contact form but did not get any answer til now.
Mike
Mike,

Send me your e-mail to: info@bayernmotorworks.com
I'll send you what I got from Roberto.
I thought you have the info already since you have contacted to them earlier.
It seems to be the way to go.
BTW, the transactions will go trough your regular merchant services VisaNet, CardNet, they just sublet out the online processing to them.
It's so new, that even my merchant acc. reps didn't know the availability of the online service.
They seems to be a very reputable company and doing business in various countries in Central and South America. You will see their references in the mail that I'll forward.

The Hun
 

Chip

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If it's worth anything, many Dominicans buy online goods in the US and have them shipped here. Amazon is a big favorite. It would lead one to believe that maybe these Dominicans some how are obtaining US credit cards possible. It appears to be a thriving business from what I have seen. I would expect this would be the target audience you would be going after, as very few Dominicans other than the relatively affluent have computers with internet access in their homes.