PayPal Processing Set Up
Setting up payment processing was a little bit more challenging than we expected. As a small team, there are limited options available given our current resources and budget. Thus, we relied on the host common online payment platform that exists in the world: PayPal.
While setting up the payment gateway on our end was easy, we ran into a few mysteries with PayPal that we did not expect.
Korean PayPal Accounts
We cannot accept payments from other Korean PayPal accounts because local regulations prevent it - who knew?! This really isn't a huge problem for us as our target learner audience is, well, outside of Korea! But boy did this confuse us when we were testing out payment processing.
Existing PayPal Accounts
Since we are in Korea, we have Korean PayPal accounts. That isn't a surprise. But since we couldn't use them to test out payment processing, we simple used the credit/debit card option. However, all of our payments were getting declined. Our bank/card issuers said they weren't declining anyting? So what was going on?
If you use an email address for the PayPal receipt that is registered to a PayPal account already, it will not process the payment - because it wants you to login to PayPal and simply use the platform. Of course, if you have a Korean PayPal account, you cannot do that....this wasn't so obvious to us, or perhaps anyone. Not least of which was PayPal, whose vague "error" messages did not explain anything...at all.
Simple Reasons and Solutions
A few Google searches later and looking at some random advice about using PayPal and the idea that the email address being used for receipts was already registered just clicked. Lo and behold, that was the issue. International commerce and complex local regulations really make it hard to do something as simple as charge for a service or item like an online course.
We don't foresee any major issues with PayPal moving forward as our only payment processing option at the moment (unless we register our business in another countrie, set up bank accounts, register with other payment platforms such as Stripe, etc.). We have provided an explanatiaon of this in our FAQ and Chat Knowledge Base for users trying to pay. Of course, we can also do manual payments and manual enrollments if anyone has any issues - just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!
Lia and Liam