How do the unbanked access Internet payments?

By Chris Dawson May 28, 2012 - 6:15 am

Many of us take the ability to buy and sell online for granted but for some it’s impossible as they don’t have a debit or credit card. 7.7% of households in the US don’t have a bank account. In the UK 1.75 million households are unbanked. These people can’t buy online as they can’t pay and they can’t sell online as they have no means of accessing their money.

uShip connect people with delivery companies that can move hard-to-ship items such as cars, motorcycles, horses, heavy equipment, household goods, boats and more. Transporters place competing quotes to win a customer’s business, which brings down delivery costs and makes transport more affordable and efficient.

Unbanked delivery drivers are a problem that uShip have not only realised but effectively solved. uShip have uShip Payments, a proprietary payments system launched last year where they have set up a credit card merchant umbrella account on behalf of their transporters. uShip cover the cost of processing. uShip Payments allows drivers to take credit cards when it otherwise might be cost prohibitive to do so. Plus it’s a pain to set-up for a sole proprietor to set up just for the odd job here and there.

uShip payments offer several ways for funds to get delivered to drivers’ accounts, up until now it’s been ACH (Bank Transfer) and PayPal. However two weeks ago in the US they launched another option – Payoneer.

Payoneer enables drivers to receive uShip payments to a pre-paid Mastercard immediately upon release of funds. There’s no messing about with withdrawals to a bank account, as soon as the payment is made they can go fill up their truck with diesel. What’s more, funds from multiple sources can be loaded to a driver’s uShip Payoneer card, meaning they don’t have to get a different card for every funding source.

uShip Payments represents nearly 40% of uShip’s global payment volume. It’s currently available in the US, UK and Germany with further roll outs planned. They also hope to bring the Payoneer option to the UK in the near future.

Ideally we would live in a world where everyone had a bank account. Until that day every digital wallet provider needs to figure out a way to serve the unbanked millions. Bravo to uShip payments for being one of the first to address the problem.

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