MonsterPay (Setcom) User experiences

KALSTER

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
546
I am considering payment gateways for my eCommerce site and MonsterPay seems to be the best choice so far. They are basically everything PayPal is and also what it is not for the South African market. Safe payment options including credit. debit card payments, as well as EFT. All transactions are conducted on their protected site and the eStore never has access to the credit card info. Has anyone used it before and what is your take on it?

Link

*This is not spam* ;)
 

KALSTER

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
546
Q2: If you have never used it before, would you be comfortable using it? Would the short registration process deter you from buying from a site employing it as a payment gateway?
 

Turtle

Expert Member
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
1,897
We used Setcom/MonsterPay and sorry to say but for us, it sucked, I cancelled in the end. (We then tried AlertPay and it sucked even worse, do NOT bother with AlertPay; I'm now using one of the Digital River companies, though too early to tell, so far it seems much more promising on the whole.) I had a lot of problems with credit cards being declined on Setcom/MonsterPay, particularly foreign cards (most my customers are overseas). Customers would be asked ridiculous things like that they had to go to their bank to authorize the transaction --- Setcom seemed to think this was a perfectly normal response --- as if customers are going to go into a bank just for a little $10 online software purchase or something. They never gave me a reasonable explanation why so many transactions were declined; my suspicion is that many foreign banks automatically block African merchants for fraud prevention reasons. Anyway, on another note, their automatic notification system was very buggy, and I sent multiple support queries about it over a period of months and they ignored most of them, and still never fixed the problems with the notification system. Finally, the straw that broke the camel's back, I had a US customer, known to us as a valid customer, order about $500 worth of software from us a few months ago. Order went through OK, fine. Except after the order was completed, Setcom/MonsterPay starts sending my customer nagging e-mails stating he has to 'verify his credit card', with a link to an online verification system --- that *didn't work*. WTF. Customer tried multiple times to 'verify' their card, kept getting a 'not working, try again later' message, and kept getting the nagging emails. And I didn't even know about any of this until after about a month of this when my exasperated, frustrated angry customer emails us about it. I phone Setcom, and they confirm that indeed their credit card verification system is broken. I was like 'wtf', how can you harass my customer to 'verify their credit card' and keep sending him to a *broken system*? No answer. Is this bizarro-land? Then it gets worse: They then suggest that in order to verify the credit card, they will ask the customer to fax his credit card statements to them instead. What!? He must fax his credit card statements just for ordering some software online!? I went beserk and told them there was no way I would let them harass my customer to do that. Setcom seem unable to see the inanity of this ... they insisted that somehow this seemed perfectly normal to them, and told me that they would always require this 'verification' for any order of $500 or more (because it's 'such a high amount'). Now I'm sorry, I've ordered things many times online before, including for over $500, and I've never in my life had to do anything anywhere near as ridiculous as anything like that, in fact with the exception of Dell, anything I've tried to order online has always "just worked", no mess no fuss, and that's how it should be --- why should I expect my customers to go through that? No way my customers will put up with it, I'll just lose my customers. I had to apologise *profusely* to my poor customer and try explain all this. Setcom seems to be stuck in this old apartheid "papers please" mentality where they think it's normal to push customers to do stupid pointless bureaucratic paper-pushing. Now the average South African customer might be used to putting up with this sort of crap, because of the old days, and because we put up with crap like FICA, and because we're used to stuff that doesn't work, and we're used to e.g. being pushed around and sent to banks and asked to fulfil stupid bureaucratic requirements just to buy something online, but most of my customers are overseas and there is no way in hell they would ever put up with crap like that. I told Setcom they'd better drop this issue, and that this will be the last time because I was stopping my service with them.

My impression was also that they have lots of little technical problems with the system, and that they simply don't have the resources i.e. skilled programmers to fix them, or else aren't interested in fixing them.

Setcom/Monsterpay also requires a 'registration process' for the customer, having to 'verify their credit card' before they can even buy --- obviously this pushes customers away --- rule one of selling anything, don't put obstacles in front of a customer who wants to pay. Anyway, the Digital River products have a much more sophisticated shopping cart (with e.g. multilingual support (so users can use the shopping cart 'in their own language') and much fancier multiple currency support (users see prices in their own currency by default, and it uses automatic country detection)), and they also have many more features, e.g. the ability to set up reseller and affiliate accounts (so you can manage a list of other accounts of people who can sell your products at a commission). We're currently trying Share-It. They also have many more payment options and help sort out the payments, especially for overseas customers. It hasn't been perfect, but so far their support has always been responsive to my requests (Share-It I mean). They handle South African merchants, and they have no stupid limits like $500 (it's more like $10,000 --- I asked). They have a range of companies/services offering 'similar but different' products, e.g. eSellerate, regnow. Share-It has no monthly charge, but their per-transaction percentage is higher than Setcom's --- personally, I think it is absolutely worth paying the slightly higher commission for a far better product. They do seem to focus on software specifically though, so I'm not sure what your product is. Also, many of my issues may be more because we focus on international software sales .... if most of your customers are South African, you might have fewer issues with Setcom, I don't know. Personally I won't touch them again. Your mileage might vary, I don't know ... doesn't really hurt for you to try them out I suppose.

Note when I was with them they also (if I recall correctly) did not handle PayPal, which was another item on the 'sucks' list ... I don't know if this has changed though since FNB and PayPal made their arrangement.
 
Last edited:

KALSTER

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
546
Thanks for the comprehensive post Turtle (are you on one of the science forum sites by any chance?)! I will have a further look then, especially at those you recommend. One problem though is that most payment gateways require of you to have a merchant banking account, which in turn requires you to exceed R50000 in monthly turnover AFAIK. This is an obstacle for me at the moment. If all else fails, I'll try out MonsterPay for a while since my customers will be pretty much exclusively South African (It will be an online computer store). Hopefully I'll be in a position to try out other options soon though. Thanks again!

On a side note: I am pretty confident with using Hetzner as my hosting provider. Thoughts?
 

hcollette

New Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
1
This site is from a few problems to a complete fraud system.
I wanted to try it out as well as the website looked professional. I signed up, and then immediately wanted to change my shopping cart from Paypal to Monsterpay (setcom), and here;
1st problem: Apparently all had been changed on the site and not updated fully, so a customer service representative told me where to go... I understand all does no go perfectly to plan sometimes.
2nd problem: got it going and updated all my site to receive Euros, as their site clearly states that they can deal with Euros, US Dollars, British Pound and South African Rand. What was not my surprise when I received an email from Setcom telling me that a payment had been declined because at present they can only deal with South African Rands and US Dollar!! so it meant I had to change all over again in USD.
3rd problem: I moved back to Spain from South Africa and clearly their verification system needs to be addressed. They "claim" to deal in over 200 countries, but clearly had no clue has to what I send them, which where official documents clearly showing my address and is the type of documents required in Spain. I understand not everyone speaks Spanish but anyone can find plenty of translators on the net.
4th problem: While I moved to Spain, someone paid me in South African Rands, but like Paypal, not a big deal, either transfer the amount into another currency, or transfer the amount direct on your account. Here with MonsterPay (setcom) NO NO NO! Your money will remain in South Africa. I am lucky it is a small amount, but they claim they would be breaking the law if they did (because stealing my funds is not breaking the law maybe) They say they can transfer ONLY the amount on a South African account, (great for all of you overseas, isn't it?) of course this clause is NOWHERE to be seen on their terms. So basically someone has paid you, you send the goods, you pay for shipping and packaging and Monster pay keep the money... ALL OF IT. Not a bad deal hey!
5th problem: They say that in order to withdraw the funds you must apply to the bank reserve, which of course I have contacted, and which of course does not reply. This of course is ALSO no where to be seen on their terms. So basically money remains with them. Now I really would not be surprised if the money not been withdrawn will be forfeited after a while. It is just a guess, but as they seem to omit a lot of things on their site, I would not be surprised if anyone had that problem one day.
6th problem: To resolve this, I cannot understand why Monsterpay does not make a payment to the client in USD, and take a fee of the amount in question in ZAR, this would be solved in minutes, but they rather, have very upset and unsatisfied customers and lose them.
7th problem: They claim to have 100000's customers, but out of these, who really uses them. Not many. My site has now been reverted to Paypal and the only reason my customers were using Monsterpay is because I was offering a discount if they were using Monsterpay instead of Paypal. Now for R360, they have lost a good trail of potential customers. PATHETIC!

Well some people understand only the hard way, so take the example of eBay, which was great at first, then they really became a pain in the bottom, resulting in Millions of unsatisfied customers... what happened? many stopped selling on eBay, and eBay had to cut 1000's of jobs, all this because of an idiot setting up a wrong rule. MonsterPay, you rather pull your socks up, because the same will happen to you!
 

KyleMonsterpay

New Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
1
Dear Turtle

Apologies for this reply being so late, however we do wish to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused to you. In the year since your post, we have taken great steps in improving the way our fraud engine and verification process works to address the concerns that you have mentioned above. The process is now a lot smoother, with fewer false positives and much faster turn-around times in both support and verification. We do hope that you give us another look in future, as the service is evolving and is being improved all the time - any suggestions are more than welcome as well.

Dear Mr. Colette

We would like reiterate our position with regards to your inquiry:

South African foreign exchange control prohibits us from transferring ZAR into a foreign currency without permission from the South African Reserve Bank. By demanding that MonsterPay transfer the 300.00 ZAR which currently reflects (and will continue to reflect) in your MonsterPay account to your overseas bank account, you are effectively requesting that we break the law. MonsterPay is a reputable company, trusted by over 100,000 clients worldwide. We operate by the book and will certainly not overstep the bounds set by South African, or any other countries legislature.

MonsterPay is not by any means refusing to pay your funds over to you. When you opened an account with MonsterPay you were a South African resident. As we’ve stated before, we would gladly transfer the full amount to a South African bank account belonging to one of your friends or family members. You could then make further arrangements with regards to legally transferring the funds to your overseas bank account.

We also find your unscrupulous efforts to extort MonsterPay to be completely unacceptable. We refer to your correspondence to MonsterPay on 08/04/2011:

“...if I do not have my money in USD on my account by sunday the 10th April, I will send you a Paypal payment request of a 1000 Euro for compensation. If not paid, the next week it will increase by yet another 1000 Euro and the payment request will be modified accordingly.

Of course I will continue my pursuit of blaming and shaming you for what you are not telling your customers, via Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, email all my monster pay customer database to advise them of this and ask them to consider closing their account, email my contacts to newspapers, such as the natal witness, the echo , etc, etc..."

We would like to inform you that extortion is considered a criminal offence internationally and we are taking steps in regards to this.

We feel that the deterioration of the situation is regretful and unfortunate, but despite our extensive efforts to find a satisfactory resolution, you are unwilling to come to any agreement with us. We have remained calm and professional throughout your tirade against us, and will continue to do so. MonsterPay would like to invite anyone interested in corroborating Mr Colette’s claims to please feel free to contact us.

If anyone has had any problems with the MonsterPay service, we invite you to please contact our support centre in regards to this. We are more than happy and willing to address any issues you may have.

Thank you and kind regards,

Kyle R

The Monsterpay Team
 

ray-zin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
161
We used Setcom/MonsterPay and sorry to say but for us, it sucked, I cancelled in the end. (We then tried AlertPay and it sucked even worse, do NOT bother with AlertPay; I'm now using one of the Digital River companies, though too early to tell, so far it seems much more promising on the whole.)....

Hey Turtle.
Who are you using now. I've signed up to monsterpay and am sofar not happy. The support has been great. However... only my 2nd payment was blocked for verification. (A process that could take 4 days - according to the message my customer received.) - Now this was for a last-minute-booking. The guest would already be on his vacation in my place by the time this would have been verified. Plus it was an international guest... who don't have to deal with this sort of thing when using paypal etc.
 

TommyMuller

New Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
1
This is Jan 2014 and my experience of Setcom / Monsterpay.com is very similar to that of Turtle, who posted her experience in 2004! US client credit card declined ... then the client was asked to 'verify her credit card -- a process that doesn't seem to work. Customer tried multiple times to 'verify' their card. Result: an exasperated, frustrated angry customer, almost ready to give up trying to do business with me. To quote Turtle: "... it gets worse: in order to verify the credit card, they then asked the customer to fax her credit card statement to them instead. What!?"
My client first tried to pay me on 6 Jan 2014. Today is 23 Jan 2014 and we still cannot get the transaction completed. I am giving up trying to deal with Setcom / Monsterpay. They seem to be a small, unprofessional outfit that can't deal with international requests. I must say, though, that I have used them before without hassle for South African transactions, and they were fine.
Any advice out from anywhere out there?
 
Top