Poor Support and Initiatives from Payment Gateway Providers Kills ECommerce in Nigeria

In my recent online payment experiments, I worked with both Magento and OpenCart. While Magento is complex enough to make even a bishop go raving mad, it still came with some payment modules/plugins out of the box. Same for OpenCart. Conspicuously missing are the modules from top payment gateways in Nigeria.

From my own firsthand experience, handcrafting APIs for payment is a bore. It has significantly retarded the growth of ecommerce in Nigeria more than anything else.

If you want to accept payment online in Nigeria today, you are limited to payment gateways from:

  • InterSwitch and/or UPSL (ValuCard)
  • Banks and their proprietary systems
  • Other independent providers such as Pay4Me, etc.

Thereafter you are on your own. One, you don’t have any pre-cooked modules or plugins you can easily install on the most common payment applications such as OpenCart, Magento, PrestaShop, ZenCart, etc. and also their integration documentations are lame, non-existent or sometimes downright incorrect. Support is patchy and poor, and they want to charge you for every time you take a breath.

So how can life be easier? Payment gateway providers should make available modules or plugins that can be used for probably the 10 commonest online engines, including the venerable old WordPress and Joomla (yes, some people do use such). Also, they should have a vibrant support system such as an online forum – with sample codes, reviews, user interactions, blah blah blah.
This should create a network effect; as more shops go online, much more will like to go online. Ultimately anyone with a card will always have something to buy online.