Paystack: Accept Payments Online Without a Registered business

In this post, you’ll learn how to accept payments online from customers without a registered business or a corporate bank account with Paystack.  A corporate bank account demand you have a registered business.

Some of us just want to sell a particular product on the internet without actually starting a company. Or maybe you’re just starting out in business and you don’t want to get a registered company name until you start making sales.

You’ll need a Merchant account with a Payment Processor in order to do this.

I’ll explain little on the very basis of a what a Merchant account is and why you need it, before showing you how to create one. 

Here is a list of what this post contains.

  1. Who is a merchant
  2. What is a merchant account and why you need it
  3. Choosing a suitable merchant
  4. Create a merchant account with Paystack
  5. Accepting payments
  6. Conclusion.

Let’s get started.

Who is a merchant?

A merchant is a company or a single person who sell a product or service. These days the term merchant is mostly associated with company or individual who sells their products via the internet.

This post is about online merchants. People who sell product or service online.

And to sell online you need to become an online merchant.

Unlike an offline(physical) merchant where you can sell directly to a customer and collect cash without any third party processing, you’ll need a merchant account to sell online. 

This leads us to the next discussion.

What is a merchant account and why you need it

A merchant account is a certain kind of bank account that provides a connection between a merchant, a payment service provider, and the acquiring bank ( Ex: GTBank, UBA, Bank of America).

An issuing bank issue a credit or debit card to a cardholder and this card can be used to shop online.

Assuming this cardholder is your customer.

With each purchase the cardholder makes, a payment request is sent to the Acquiring Bank through a Payment Gateway. The Acquiring Bank then send the request through the appropriate card scheme ( Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Verve) back to the Issuing Bank for authorisation.

After successful authorisation, the merchant ( you in this case) can deliver his product or service to the cardholder.

Why do you need a Merchant Account

You need a merchant account because it can help you to legally accept and process online payments, through all online payments method.

Benefits:

  1. Provide safe payment options to your customers
  2. Protect sensitive data
  3. Protect yourself from fraudulent transactions and chargebacks.

As a Merchant account holder, you’re required to abide by the rules and regulation as set by the card schemes ( Mastercard, Visa, and others).

Choosing a suitable Merchant Account Provider

Fees for getting connected and processing payments differs greatly per payment service provider. 

A payment service provider provides you with a merchant account to accept credit card payments online.

So make sure you compare several payments service provider before choosing.

Now, in this post, you will use Paystack as the payment service provider to create a Merchant account.

Why Paystack:

  1. You don’t need a corporate bank account to accept payment and process payment online
  2. Simple to use
  3. Multiple payment options for your customers, including USSD.
  4. Very good payments success rate
  5. No upfront fee, you’re only charged a small fee of every transaction a customer makes.

Note: I use Paystack mainly because of its simplicity and the fact that no corporate bank account needed to accept payment online — which is extremely good for a business just starting out. In the future, you can decide to use any payment service provider of your choice.

With the above information, let create a merchant account with Paystack.

Create a merchant account with Paystack

Go to dashboard.paystack.com/#/signup

accept-payment-online-payment-signup-paystack
Paystack Signup Page

Complete the form with your details

accept-payment-online-payment-signup-form-paystack
Paystack Signup Form

Click on the “Create Account” button. 

Please make sure you follow the password instruction to create a password. And also try to save your password somewhere for future purposes.

Note: If you’re browsing with a Google Chrome browser, I recommend you use the suggested password provided by Google. This takes away the need trying to store a password in your head.

Now, this takes you to the Paystack user dashboard where you provide your personal information. 

accept-payment-online-payment-signup-completion

Enter your personal information ( First Name, Last Name, Phone Number) on the form as shown above.

If you’re a software developer, select Yes, else select No

About your business: Select Starter Business, but if you’ve got a corporate account, select Registered Business.

accept-payment-online-payment-starter-business
Paystack business type

Select how many people work with your company and Save to ‘Complete Setup’. 

After a few seconds, you’ll have a dashboard like this:

accept-payment-online-payment-dashboard
Paystack Account Dashboard

Now you need to Activate your Business.

Activate your Business

Click on the ‘Start’ button on the Activate Your Business section.

accept-payment-online-payment-start
Paystack Activate your business

If you didn’t see the Activate Your Business section as shown above, simply go to Get Started ( you can find Get Started at the left sidebar)

To activate your business you need to complete these important steps.

  1. Profile verification
  2. Bank Account Information
  3. Business Information
  4. Truecaller ( Not needed anyway)
accept-payment-online-payment-activate-your-business
Activate your business steps on Paystack

Profile Verification:

Continue with Profile Verification. 

You’ll need either a photo of any of the following documents:

  • The data page of your Passport OR
  • Your Driver’s License OR
  • National ID OR
  • Voter’s ID Card

Upload any of the following document by clicking on “+ Choose File”

Enter your BVN. This BVN detail must correspond with the details on the document you uploaded. 

Save, so we move to the next Activation steps.

Bank Account Information:

Continue with Bank Account Information.

Select your bank and enter your account. 

paystack-payment-bank-information

Save and move to your Business Information.

Business Information:

You will ask what your business does and other necessary information.

The chargeback email is very important. This is where you receive alerts for customers who dispute a credit card purchase. Maybe they didn’t like your product.  So make sure you enter a regular email because in such a case you’re required to respond within 24hrs.

If you don’t have a website yet, you can ignore the Website Link for the business. 

After entering your required business details, Save, and move to the next step.

Truecaller Verification

This step is not mandatory, so you can skip it. 

But,

The Starter Business payment transaction limit is 2M. if you verify your phone number with Truecaller, it will be increased to 3M.

Anyway, I believe you should have a registered business before you reach the 2M limit.

Send Activation Request

After evri everi, Send Activation Request, so you can start receiving payments.

Once your Activation Request is confirmed, your account will no longer in test mode. 

How do you know? 

Just look at the top of your account dashboard, you’ll have something similar to this:

payment-live-mode
Paystack Live Mode

Once you have that, you’re now ready to accept payments online.

With your merchant account, you can accept credit card payment from customers online.

They’re multiple options provided by Paystack to do this. But in this post, you’ll only create a simple Payment Page to allow customers to pay you.

Setting up Paystack Payment Pages

Let say you want customers to pay for your digital products, ebook for example. And once they make the payment you can send the book to their mail.

To do that:

On the left sidebar, under Seller tools, Click on Payment Pages, and you’ll see a page that looks like the below image:

accept-payment-online-payment-create-payment-pages
Payment pages on Paystack

Select “+ New Page”

payment-onetime-payment

Choose One-time Payment since it an ebook.

Now you’ll see a form where you’ll provide some information.

payment-pages-form
Payment pages form on Paystack

Now let assume the name of your book is:

Facebook Marketing Tricks for Bloggers

and the subtitle of the books is:

Learn 101 secrets to promote your blog on Facebook without spending a dime

The price tag you want to sell is N3000.

Now with that information, here is the how the form will look like:

paystack-new-payment-page

Since it is great for marketing to collect phone numbers, simply check the “Collect phone numbers on this page” as shown above.

Once you click Create, you’ll have something thing like this:

payment-page-link-paystack

Now, you can Copy the Link and paste on a new browser tab or simple Visit Your Page. 

Note that your link will be different from the one in the previous image.

When you visit the page, you’ll have a similar display on a browser:

accept-payment-online-payment-paystack-payment-page
Live Paystack Payment Page online

Wow! That’s it. You just created a Payment Page where customer can pay you with their credit card.

You don’t need a software developer to this for you. It is that simple.

Conclusion

Selling products online and getting paid has never been easier as today, most especially for individual sellers with no corporate bank account.

You can do a lot of things with your new Starter Business account on Paystack.  

I believe with this post, you now know and have a merchant account to accept payments online.

NEED HELP?

If you need help setting up a Payment Gateway and general handling of payments online, you can contact here.

Thanks for reading! I’d really appreciate it if you recommend this post (by clicking one of the share icons) so other people can find it.

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