Resolve Brunei’s online payment gateway issue

WITH the rising unemployment rate, it has to be commended that some of our youth are looking at entrepreneurship to generate their own income.

Looking at the Bruneian market however, there will soon be a time where the market will be saturated with similar products.

With the relatively low population, this will create unfavourable supply and demand conditions.

Since we already have a sizeable tech-savvy youth demographic with decent Internet access, the thought of creating an Internet-based home business that could serve a wider market (not just local) must have gone through a lot of minds.

Take for example, selling used items or handmade products which can be done through eBay or Etsy.

Not only will that bring money to the country, but the local postal services will also benefit as we are using them for shipping.

Does it sound doable?

Yes, it is actually quite doable and very straightforward … in another country.

Why you ask?

I myself have tried to dabble in online entrepreneurship and quite a few people I know have tried too.

After some research, the biggest hurdle was the non-existent Online Payment Gateway.

This is the single biggest hurdle.

When I opened an online shop that targetted a global market, there were analytics showing where customers are from, what they were interested in, any returning customers and so on.

With some successful marketing I managed to generate traffic from Europe and North America.

One of the analytical tool shows how many abandoned checkouts were made.

Suffice to say, there were many abandoned checkouts.

While we can attribute this to a change of heart, the numbers were just too ridiculous for it to be just that.

PayPal for Brunei, while it can be used for buying items, cannot be used to receive money.

That is absurd, pretty much everyone uses PayPal, just getting a slice of that pie would bring in ridiculous amounts of money to Brunei.

It really should be looked into.

While there were explanations in the past as to why this is so, it shouldn’t just be ignored and be left like that.

It really should be prioritised.

There is also the issue of getting money from card payments.

PayPal offers this service alongside a few other online payment gateway companies such as Stripe, Skrill etc.

Again, the same issue, they will not receive for Bruneian bank accounts.

I enquired this with a provider of online payment gateways and their suggestion was to open a bank account in the USA, which requires me to go there or set it up through an agent which will cost nearly USD1,000.

For a small business, just the monthly fees alone will eat up a sizeable chunk.

Even the recent titah of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has touched upon the issue of digital economy.

Should this online payment gateway issue be resolved, imagine the possibilities!

With our decent Internet service and a generation brought up being tech savvy, we could actually for once be a real hub, a hub for e-business to thrive!

A whole industry in itself that caters to a global market!

Please make this a possibility.

– Hus Nuzone