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Payment system costly in the Pacific: Khan


Sep 15, 2021 11:19:32 AM

Payment system costly in the Pacific: Khan Pacific Island Forum programme director Zarak Khan says small and medium-sized enterprises have challenges of setting up payment systems due to its high costs.

Khan in a press conference said it cost between $31,296 to $41,729 for small and medium-sized enterprises to have a payment system set up.

He said due to the high cost of setting up payment systems, small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to go towards alternative options like Facebook.

 “We have been trying to work with central banks and financial institutions in trying to find solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises,” he said.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises find it hard to set up payment systems as it is costly, It can cost them between $31,296 to $41,729.

“So essentially, this is the shopping cart feature on the website or an app before the purchase is made where you enter your credit card details.

“For a customer, once they enter that and the payment is processed, the funds are supposed to land in the local bank account of the small business.

“Our banks put up very high barriers when it comes to this issue, particularly because of risk assessments. Due to the lack of payment systems businesses have turned to Facebook,” he said

He said Facebook was not the best option as many consumers in the Pacific region have been duped or basically been victims of fraudulent activity as a result.

“The way that Facebook works is you list your product in maybe one of the groups or pages, and then the payment is made through a direct deposit,” he said.

“So really, the customer is very vulnerable, the sense that there's always a chance that the good or the product will not be delivered to them.

“There are no proper checks in terms of the background for a lot of the businesses that are on Facebook, there's not a lot of data sharing as well and so it's not a perfect system.

“A lot of our consumers in the Pacific region have been duped or basically been the subject of fraudulent activity, and been victims of fraudulent activity as a result,” he said.

He said most countries don't have adequate cyber security legislation to safeguard both businesses and customers against fraudulent activity.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

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