Paypal lands in Nicaragua
Yes, finally!!! Well sort off!
Paypal arrived to Nicaragua two weeks ago, it launched quietly but it was here. My friends from Pragmaz.com and Danfer Habed with whom I am working on a personal project that will launch soon, started making some tests with it. I was able to integrate it using the classic API with Express Checkout on a test OpenCart installation I made. Success!
Invoicing, Request Payments, Classic API, Rest API and other features are working now for Nicaraguan accounts.
What is the catch?
Well, to start off you are unable to transfer your money to a Nicaragua bank account. Before the only thing you could do is to link a US based bank account so you can cash out your money there. But that will only work for some folks, not for the vast majority.
Some interesting discussions were given on my 2 favorite Facebook groups: Desarrolladores Nicaragua & Marketing Digital Nicaragua. And we all started making tests and interacting with Paypal and their support staff. Unfortunately we can’t move money to local banks, or any other card or anything. Local bank clerks were even confused when we asked them if we could move money from Paypal to their account. They were thinking that it was about a Wire transfer from an external bank, which for me it is consequence of the low technical skills we have in Nicaragua.
We tried to use services like Payoneer, where they give you a US Based bank account so you can get payments done to that account and they provide a Mastercard Debit Card that you can use here in Nicaragua. Sad enough that does not work.
Some folks like Juan Jose from primitivista.org and Manuel Diaz from ListoMarketing.com; who also have online business gave their opinions and we all agree that even though this is a small step, we have still a long way go.
On a personal note, I believe that this is not Paypal‘s fault but our very own. Our laws or lack of them for electronic transactions is a leaving us behind. Paypal would need to sign agreements with local banks in order to reduce the transfer fees, but I do not see that happening soon. I believe Paypal needs to work with “Super Intendencia de Bancos y Otras Instituciones Financieras” or SIBOIF in order to be compliant and open locally as a financial institution so it can lower the fees when transferring money to local banks.
I will try to talk to someone from the Banking industry and will provide further feedback here when I get it. But in the mean time you can donate to this blog by sending money to firstname.lastname@example.org via Paypal.