The way internet has been taking over at such a fast pace, almost like warping away to glory, is a force to be reckoned with. While we personally have become heavily dependent on the internet, including professionally as well, it is time to leverage the internet as a tool for our profession and an asset for our progression.
For those of you who are looking to start up a business in Singapore, the world of e-commerce beckons; it may be time you finally pay heed to its call.
According to Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, the 2014 global e-commerce sales forecast pegged the market to top out at US$1.5 trillion, with the Asia-Pacific market being the largest contributor of this growth generating revenue over US$525 billion. Surprisingly, Singapore merely contributes a little over US$7 million a year to the e-commerce pie as compared to China’s mammoth US$100 billion share.
Fortunately, with Singapore’s high rate of internet penetration and its consumer-heavy society, analysts believe that the country could be a valuable hotbed to test marketing and sales strategies that will give the e-commerce boom a turbo-powered boost.
An Overview of the E-Commerce Industry in Singapore
According to research studies, the growing inclination towards e-commerce in Singapore can be attributed to 3 key factors:
- High smartphone connectivity
- Lower prices and wider variety of products available online
- Elevated rental prices and overall labor crunch
Even if you are an old-school retailer, the world has become more comfortable with making deals over the internet. It is no big secret that one should do business from the consumer point of view instead of what you are more comfortable with even though the e-commerce market is far from its saturation point at this very moment, because it may do so in the blink of an eye.
Some of the top Singapore-based e-commerce portals like deal.com.sg, Luxola, asos, iVenture card Singapore, and Zalora, are performing remarkably well on a global scale and establishing themselves as serious players in not just the domestic market, but the international market.
E-commerce is a holistic, long-term approach to a business that can broaden the horizons of a brand and multiply their revenue several fold.
Thus, by going where the consumers are and offering them something worthwhile, you could be sitting on the cusp of a potential multi-million dollar empire. To earn that kind of money, you need to ensure your sales transactions are fully automated and run smoothly.
Your customers and their money is what holds your business together; hence, it is critical to safeguard their personal details and put up the most professional front possible while dealing with them.
Thus, if you are deciding to set up an e-commerce business in Singapore, here are a few online payment options that you can use:
1. Merchant Account
An internet merchant account, which is a line of credit the bank extends to you, gives an e-commerce company the ability to process credit cards payments. While you can use your own bank to set up a merchant account, it’s always advisable to browse through other banks for better rates.
You can open up a merchant account with banks like DBS Merchant Payment Services where the benefits are the service provides real time processing and validation of transactions, and all funds are set in Singapore dollars. The rates also vary depending on the businesses requirements.
A PayPal Account offers two solutions for merchants:
- Website Payments Standard provides an easy way to start accepting credit cards securely online with a simple integration of PayPal provided code in your website.
- Websites Payment Pro offers a ubiquitous solution that allows a customer paying by credit card to stay on your secured website until the entire transaction is completed, with PayPal remaining unseen.
2. Payment Gateway Accounts
Payment Gateway Accounts are basically third party merchants, the most popular one being NETS. Officially known as the most widely used e-payment system in Singapore, NETS is owned by Singapore’s largest banks – DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank (UOB).
It has also earned the distinction of being used as a national payment system by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
There are other reputed third party merchants in the market as well, including Wirecard AG, GTPay, and Asia Pay.
3. Choosing the Right Option
If you are getting confused between a merchant account and a gateway account, here is an easy way to decide:
Now that you know the advantages as well as the disadvantages of both kinds of accounts, it will be easier for you to choose the payment option for your e-commerce business venture. In the end whatever you do, make sure you are fully informed, because a good decision is a fully informed one!
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