Businesses in the sister isle Tobago have options available to them to both accept payments and to receive payments. There are a few ways these transactions may occur and I’ll try my best to explain and give options for each scenario.

  • A customer in Tobago wants to make a payment to a business in Trinidad
  • A customer in Tobago wants to pay a business in Tobago
  • A business in Tobago wants to accept a payment from a customer in Trinidad

Those are the 3 most common scenarios which may occur on a day to day basis. Let’s dive into solutions to these.

How to accept payments in Trinidad and Tobago.

Businesses in Trinidad sell to customers in Tobago on a daily basis. Businesses in Tobago also have the option to sell to customers in Trinidad. We have shipping options such as TTPOST which allow for delivery within 48 hours. However, how would your customer be able to pay you?

  • Bank transfer (online banking) is always an option. Most banks will settle the funds into your business bank account within 24 hours. First Citizens Bank is the only bank to my knowledge that takes about a week to do so.
  • Credit Card payments are an option. Your business would need to be registered and must have a bank account in the name of the business. Once you have the above two checked off then you have two options available. Wipay and Paywise. Both are local payment gateways catering to local businesses. As of this article, Paywise is working on implementing a system to accept new clients in a more automated manner. Once that update is launched I’ll do an article comparing the two services.
  • Cash on Delivery still works. It really is a pity that this low tech option isn’t often considered. Some courier services such as UPSL offer this as an option. They even allow your customer to pay with a debit or credit card when they deliver. Many customers actually prefer this option as opposed to paying online.
  • Prepay Cash before you ship an item is an option. Some customers don’t mind doing this. Paywise is the king of this since they launched the service first (here is a list of paywise agents) however Wipay has been catching up with their prepay voucher system (here is a list of wipay locations). I’ll do another article comparing the two in more detail, but to sum it up Paywise will deposit the funds directly into your business bank account within 24 hours and wipay will deposit into your wipay balance and you can withdraw when you are ready for the funds but it can take up to a week.

I hope by now you realise that customers and businesses in Tobago don’t need to be left out. There are options that allow businesses in Trinidad and Tobago to accept payments from their customers’ location on both islands. Yes, there is a small sea that separates both islands, however, with shipping options available to exchange goods inter-island, there really isn’t a barrier.

What about businesses not registered or don’t have bank accounts? How can they receive payments?

This option may sound weird but I know a few people who have done it. You can use services such as Western Union and Moneygram to send cash between Trinidad and Tobago and even within the same island, eg. Port of Spain to San Fernando. If you don’t have a bank account in the business name as yet then your personal bank account can be used. Now I must warn you, if you have a business then the funds relating to the business has to be deposited into a bank account in the name of the business. Before I had my business registered and therefore no bank account for business I used to have customers pay me in my personal account. We need to start somewhere right?

What’s next?

If your business is registered then you can contact me on the Speak with an expert page and I can help you to sign up for Paywise. I may be able to guide you with getting your business registered as well. I’m here to help you to be able to fully utilise eCommerce and implement it into your business. I recommend you read my previous article on how retail businesses can cope with the changes happening in 2021 and beyond.

Photo by Kenrick Baksh from Pexels

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