Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2017 Contents BG4 | COVER STORY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JULY 20 • 2017
Start-up out to
shake up e-commerce
Paying for an online purchase by
cash may seem a difficult prop-
osition to grasp, but it's not.
Software company, WiPay
Financial Ltd, offers a cash
payment platform to both en-
trepreneurs as well as consumers that allows
them to conduct transactions online using
Located on Ariapita Drive in Woodbrook, the
company currently employs 12 people and, in
the space of two years, has managed to sign 600
businesses to experience this service.
The company is categorised as a financial
technology company (FinTech) with a target
market focusing on the under-banked, or the
segment of the market that choose not to or
have no access to credit cards.
Through a strategic alliance with bill col-
lectors who provide cash payment services,
the consumer can go to a Lotto booth, Massy
Stores branch or Unipet Gas Station to top-up
or gain credit.
To support cash payment transactions, the
company developed its platform based on a
"closed loop bill collector top-up model,"
which is similar to the model used for topping
This method of payment also gives an en-
trepreneur located in one area of the country
the opportunity to control his receivables as
he can tell his customer located in another area
to settle the bill using WiPay.
Aldwyn Wayne, operations manager of
WiPay, said with the service, a customer can
go to a Lotto booth and asks for a WiPay top-
up in the value they want.
"Let's say I need to pay a business in Port-
of-Spain but I reside in Cedros. All I have to
do is visit a Lotto booth and top up my WiPay
account like I would my cellphone. I would then
visit the company's website and purchase the
product using my WiPay balance. We charge a
flat load fee of $5 per top-up. So whether you
load $20 or $1,000, the fee remains the same."
Wayne, 34, added that merchants in turn can
collect their cash from any part of the country
without having to learn how to operate any
Cybercrime and identity theft are two con-
cerns that often surface with online transac-
Asked what was in place to protect pertinent
customer information, Wayne said: "We are
a processing platform, so we actually don't
hold the money. The same platform that you
would have gone on to pay your WASA bill or
any other bill, it's the same platform that is
being used. VIA is the platform that remits
the money to the business owner."
The University of Georgia computer science
graduate added: "All we are doing is putting
a pretty interface over it and something that
allows you to track where the funds are. There
is nothing to hack in terms of the online space."
Referring to the information which the mer-
chants must submit to WiPay, Wayne said the
companies are required to provide a proof of
registration of their company as well as their
Wayne added that verification is done to
ensure that it is a legitimate business and the
bank account tied to it is also legitimate.
Companies using the platform range from
small entrepreneurs to conglomerates.
He said the processing of funds begins at the
VIA or Lotto booth, when the WiPay top-up
is paid for.
Describing WiPay's platform as an addition-
al method of payment on the market, Wayne
added: "For anyone who would normally use
e-commerce this (WiPay's platform) is just
an additional method of payment. There's
credit card processing, but this is now cash
The company also has a presence in Barbados
and Jamaica as well.
"In Jamaica, we have the Paymaster net-
work. In Barbados we have an event ticketing
platform that we partner with that allows you
to buy the top-ups," Wayne said.
What is clear, he said, is that while the plat-
form is suited to all businesses, it allows entre-
preneurs a reach into the markets regionally, by
allowing for businesses in different countries
to conduct trade with each other.
As an example, Wayne said that a compa-
ny in Barbados can collect payments from a
company in T&T using the WiPay platform.
Wayne noted that the WiPay platform pro-
vides an opportunity to push electronic pay-
ments even further.
He pointed out that expenses such as child
support can be paid using the platform in ad-
dition to the purchase of items such as bus
"What we have seen introducing the plat-
form in the e-commerce space is that a lot of
new businesses and start-up companies who
had great ideas before now have the ability to
collect money from their clients and can push
out their business ideas."
Unaffected by the recession in T&T, Wayne
said the majority of his clients are seeking to
expand their operations while keeping costs
low, so his platform is in demand.
"What we are doing is providing a new
method of payment that was lacking in our
culture. Customers are very optimistic about
doing transactions using our platform."
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