Making Online Payment: All you need to know

Making payment online

My Life before Online Payment

The 21st century has introduced tons of technology that makes life convenient and easy for us. One such convenience is making payments online instead of going to a physical bank.

There was a time I knew nothing about online payment. One particular day during this time, I stood in a bank for two hours. No!!!! That was not the only bank I went to that day. I had gone to two other banks that day and spent almost an hour in each. This does not include the commuting time, cost of transportation, and the things left undone during that time. And no, this was not a one-off experience. This happened often because then, the nature of the business required that certain suppliers are paid daily; and those suppliers had different banks. So you see the struggle?

Due to these bitter experiences, I dug deep and learned about a banking app that enables payments online. The first day I made a transfer to 3 different banks under 20 minutes from the comfort of my house, I almost shed tears of joy.  Since I discovered banking apps, I have lost count of how many successful transactions I have done.

However, many still do not have access to this convenience. Some do not know jack about making payments online. They know nothing about platforms that support online payment, or how to set it up. Some others are just not sure of how secure it is to make payments via certain sites. On the few occasions when I go to the bank, I see people who are still going through what I went through in those days. Conversations with them revealed that they are scared of making payments online, for various reasons. Below, are some reasons that make online payments scary for them.

Why making payments online scares people

  • The fear of sending the money to the wrong account
  • Fear of delayed transaction
  • Card details could easily be stolen.
  • Some are yet to understand how it works.

This post is to allay those fears, give tips on ensuring safe online payments, and explain in detail how it works.

Platforms that Support Online Payment

In Nigeria, there are different platforms that enable online payment.

1. Banking Apps:

The banks in Nigeria have apps that support online payments and transactions. Setting it up requires an active account with the bank and card details. The online banking app facilitates transfers to different banks, airtime purchases, cable subscriptions, loans, scheduled payments (standing orders), self-service, generating account statements, etc.

In addition to the above-named functions, the banking app allays the fear of sending money to the wrong person. After the account number has been typed in, the app automatically generates the name of the recipient. If the name does not correspond with the name you were given, the transaction can be canceled.

2. Fintech (Third-party apps):

There are other apps that support online payment and have the features of the banking app. Some popular ones in Nigeria are Flutterwave, Paga, Opay, etc. These apps/platforms serve as payment tools. Their platform serves as a bridge between the sender and the receiver.

Usually, such apps are operated by vendors who operate and transact with their business account on the customer’s behalf. They receive commissions for helping users make payments online. This is a good alternative for those who do not have the requirements to set up a banking app. The app performs most of the functions of the online banking app.

Why do people make payments online

Generally, people make payments online for various reasons. The list is endless and cannot be confined to a certain number. However, the list below summarizes the major reasons people make payments online:

  • Paying for a product or a service
  • Payment for Utility charge
  • E-Commerce
  • Bills
  • Cash exchange
  • As a gift

Forms of Online payment

There are various forms of online payments. The most popular ones are:

  • Card Payment (Mastercard, Visa, Verve):

This form of online payment is very common on websites. It requires a Debit Card issued by a financial institution. The card must be funded for payment to be successful. To make a payment, you need to input the 16 digits number in front of your debit card, and the three-digit number behind the card. It will also require the card pin to finalize payment. 

  • Transfer:

This requires the account number, name of the receiver, and name of their financial institution. It can be done via a mobile app or USSD code. The account number of the recipient is filled in. Without having the correct account number, it is impossible to make a transfer. The transfer will be unsuccessful, or it goes to a  different recipient.

Advantages of making payments online

  • It saves time
  • It is more convenient
  • Online payment s not confined to a particular location.

General Precautions to Observe when making payments online

  • Ensure it is a trusted site: A trusted site has the ‘s’ in ‘HTTPS’. Any site that begins with ‘HTTP’ instead of ‘HTTPS’ is not a trusted site. Also, check that the padlock sign on the address bar is locked. An open padlock means the site is suspicious. Therefore, if you’re required to make payments on such sites, don’t.
  • Make sure the account name generated by the app matches the one you intend to pay to. If it does not match, the money goes to the wrong person.
  • Keep your card details private at all times: Do not disclose them to another person.

Applying these tips, anyone can easily make online payments from the same spot with a mobile phone, within 10 minutes. It’s that good, and fast. 

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