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Many internet services are extremely expensive. Either the services are only available in foreign countries or the services offered locally are priced according to the cost put forward abroad. This in effect means that, what the user pays for is the price after a currency conversion, which is often not in the favour of users in South Africa.

An example is this, to buy a given product locally would cost a certain amount in local currency, and the same product in another country would cost, give or take an equivalent amount in their currency. The particular product, which has similar value, despite where it is purchased should, therefore be available for roughly the same price, at either location, in its respective money form.

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The exception would be if the product is not truly available in a specific country or the price is based on the monetary value elsewhere. The cause of this can be seen as a lack of competition between the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and the monopolies maintained in the industry.

This is largely the case with internet marketing products. The cost of hosting an internet site, auto-responder services, web-building software and shopping carts are all such examples. Furthermore, many home based business opportunities are simply not geared to cater for South Africans and automatically exclude such participation.

It is no problem to receive money from and dispatch products to South Africa, but the problem comes in to receive money globally, into South Africa. The problem also arises with receiving training in the form of seminars or coaching, as most of the internet marketing experts are based overseas and do not consider South Africa a priority cause.

South Africa is seen as a third-world country and is bundled together with the rest of African countries, where there is a great perception of reigning fraud and corruption. The African continent may in some instances be seen as technologically backward, but internet schemes, such as the Nigerian 419 scam, has caused Africa in general, tremendous harm.

These international perceptions of Africa in general, are the cause of a lack of trust, which in some instances impedes investment in these countries. This is coupled with the economic sanctions imposed as a result of the previous government policies, where South Africans were excluded form global commerce. These sanctions have since been lifted, but the stigmas of old sometimes still remain.

In order to curb money laundering, The South African Reserve Bank maintains stringent controls over the influx of money from abroad. The use of payment processors are often disallowed, for this reason. Cheques received from overseas, have to go through a rigorous and costly clearing process and obviously have to be declared to the Receiver of Revenue.

PayPal is the most popular payment processor and in most cases is the norm in international financial transacting. South Africans can easily purchase anything from across the world using PayPal, but until recently South Africa is one of the countries that could not receive any form of payment from it. These countries are then as a result, excluded from any business, which relies solely on the services of PayPal to secure payment.

PayPal for South Africa is now available via an agreement between First National Bank and PayPal. FNB and PayPal now do offer functionality for South Africans to receive money from overseas into their dedicated PayPal accounts, however limitations and restrictions do apply. Any money received into the PayPal account must be withdrawn within a thirty day period and the Rand, which is South Africa's local currency can not be used to advertise prices of goods at this point. A very comprehensive history of the issues relating to PayPal and South Africa is well documented on some internet blogs.

The alternatives to using PayPal are often costly in time, inconvenient and impractical to the end user. The workarounds make the costs in service charges and banking fees considerable. PayPal is easy to use, offers handy services and is the accepted norm for doing on-line business. South African businesses are forced to request an alternative form of payment for products sold globally. Unfortunately, incentive payments from internet marketing programs are often dispensed using PayPal exclusively as a standard norm.

Presently South Africans can only consider international programs that can make use of an alternative form of payment or compensation as an alternative to PayPal. This usually takes the form of disbursement by cheque in the US dollar currency. Many of these obstacles can be overcome by doing business in South Africa exclusively, but this eliminates the rest of the world as a lucrative source of income in foreign currency.

 

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