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PayTabs Partners with a Local Payment Solutions Provider in Iraq to Drive Digital Payment Growth in the Country

Mohab

PayTabs Partners with a Local Payment Solutions Provider in Iraq to Drive Digital Payment Growth in the Country

PayTabs is an award-winning payment solutions company founded in 2014 in Saudi Arabia. It empowers entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises in the MENA region to achieve their full potential in online payment performance and allowing businesses to make digital transactions and receive customer payments.

Recently, the company announced its collaboration with Amwal Payment Services, a local payment solutions provider in Iraq, to help power digital payment processing and transform small and medium-sized businesses.

The consistent rise in the e-commerce business strategy has brought in an impressive number of followers in Iraq with curiosity tapping into the market but with no tools to scale their online businesses.

Amwal is an electronic payment service established in 2009 and is responsible for installing lots of Point of Sale (POS) facilities across Iraq. The company was given an official license by the Central Bank of Iraq to issue, acquire, and process global electronic payments, especially MasterCard in the region. Amwal has been collaborating with the Central Bank of Iraq to offer several financial services to banks, such as upgrading banks to online banking systems.

The B2B payment solutions provider, in collaboration with Amwal, seeks to expand into the Iraqi market to create digital transformation in payment and transaction processing. It also seeks to enhance e-commerce enterprises and operations in the region. To achieve these objectives, it aims to facilitate online payments, recurring payments, e-invoicing and multiple payment options.

According to data from the World Bank, only 23% of Iraqi residents have access to an account at a financial institution. Most companies in the region still operate their business in cash, with only 26% of enterprises in Iraq using digital banking systems. An estimated 98% of employers make their purchases or transactions in hard currency. Nearly half of those also pay their suppliers in notes.

William Glass, a FinTech entrepreneur whose mission is to improve financial well-being globally, once highlighted the prerequisites to succeed in a new market during expansion. “When a payment company expands into a new market, it’s important that they first understand what made them successful in their current market. Answer the question, what problem do you solve for your customers and what makes you better than other methods of making payments? From there, expansion into the new market is about finding the customers who most closely resemble those current customers”, he adds.

Paytabs currently supports multiple payment processing across markets in the Middle East and North Africa, enabling businesses to make digital transactions and receive payment from customers. The company facilitates transaction processing in 168 currencies across 49 different industries with multiple alternative payment options such as MasterCard and Visa card schemes. Some of their awards winning products include:

  1. Online payments enable merchants and businesses of all shapes and sizes to pay and get paid instantly, seamlessly, and securely all over the globe.
  2. Recurring payments enables merchants and businesses that offer consistent services to receive payments from clients. Good examples are SaaS companies and gym memberships.
  3. Pay links – a secure payment link that helps merchants and businesses to sell over social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
  4. E-invoicing to clients/customers across the globe and receive payments in the country.

Paytabs venturing into the emerging Iraqi market in collaboration with the veteran payment partner, Amwal, will empower Iraq’s small and medium-sized enterprises and e-commerce entrepreneurs towards a seamless digital transformation in payment methods.

The global pandemic has necessitated the increase in the adoption of digital payments in most countries that operate a cash-driven economy, including Iraq. With Paytabs, retailers and businesses in Iraq will benefit themselves by becoming financially viable in the online community and scale up their businesses.

The CEO of PayTabs, Abdulaziz Al Jouf, was excited about the development and made a positive remark. “The e-commerce market in Iraq is at the brink of serious development, and we at PayTabs are excited to become a part of this journey along with entrepreneurs and businesses. The most peculiar attribute about PayTabs is that we are corporate in outlook, but we think and act locally in every market we enter, to have a better understanding of the market needs and then customize our products to suit each business”.

 

Abdullah Idris
-Abdullah Idris is a freelance writer/content marketer for start-up companies offering financial services. Learn more about his work here

8 Strategies For Dealing With Difficult Clients

8 Strategies For Dealing With Difficult Clients

It doesn’t matter what you do, who you work with, or how picky you are with your customers—at some point, every small business owner, independent contractor, freelancer, and self-employed person has to deal with difficult clients..

But just because challenging clients are a part of running a successful business doesn’t make them any easier to deal with! Managing difficult clients is frustrating, time-consuming, and—depending on what they’re being difficult about—can have a significant impact on your business.

That’s why, as business owners, it’s imperative to know how to deal with difficult clients. When you know how to deal with challenging clients, you can better manage your customers and maintain your client relationships—even when your clients insist on being a thorn in your side.

But how, exactly, do you do that? Let’s take a look at eight must-know strategies for dealing with difficult customers:

 

1. Set Clear Expectations

Here’s the truth: some clients are going to be difficult no matter what you do. But many difficult client relationships can be avoided by getting on the same page from the get-go—and that means setting clear expectations from day one.

Setting clear expectations at the very beginning of your client relationships (and making sure your client understands those expectations) can help you avoid misunderstandings in the future—and can help you avoid difficult interactions with your client as a result.

When you start working with a new client, schedule a meeting to discuss and cement all the details of your working relationship. Walk through everything that could be relevant (or could be potentially misunderstood) in the future. This includes:

  • Your business background. You never want a client to say you misrepresented yourself or your business—so before you start working together, you’ll want to outline your business background, including years of experience in your industry, the type of projects you specialize in, and your experience with the type of project or work they’re looking to hire for.
  • Professional services. You and your client need to be on the same page on what, exactly, you’re being hired to do. What services are you going to perform for the client? 
  • Timeline. Many clients get upset when projects aren’t completed in a timeframe they deem appropriate—so make sure you outline realistic timeframes and project deadlines. And, in order to avoid any confusion, be as specific as possible. So, for example, if you’re a general contractor hired to renovate a kitchen, don’t just give a date when the project will be complete; walk through approximate timeframes for each part of the project, like demo, cabinet installation, and painting. 
  • Pricing. If you want to avoid client challenges, one of the most important areas to set clear expectations? Your pricing structure. Review your entire pricing structure with a client before taking on a project, including the total amount due upfront, payment terms, the payment schedule, when the final payment is due, and what happens in the case of a late payment or unpaid invoice, including late fees and interest charges.

Once you’ve reviewed all this information with your customer (this is the important part!), put everything into a written contract—and have the client read and sign that contract. Having a signed contract adds a layer of protection for future disputes; for example, if, after completing a project, the client doesn’t want to pay the full amount because they say it’s different from your original pricing, you can point to the contract—the contract that they signed—and easily resolve the dispute. (Written contracts are also much easier to enforce than oral agreements.)

 

2. Have Firm Boundaries

Setting boundaries is an important part of running a successful business—but it’s especially important when it comes to managing hard-to-deal-with clients.

Without boundaries, clients with a natural inclination towards being difficult can (and will!) walk all over you—and the relationship can quickly become unmanageable.

There are a few different areas where you’ll want to set clear boundaries with your clients, including:

  • Communication. Setting boundaries around your communication is a must, especially if a client can be difficult. Let your client know how and when they can get in touch with you with project-related questions or concerns. For example, you might tell them you’ll respond to emails or phone calls between 9am and 6pm, Monday through Friday, but text messaging is off limits—and you won’t respond to any communication requests on nights or weekends. Then, make sure to stick to those boundaries; once you respond to a late-night text message from the client—even after telling them that texting and after-hours communication is a no-no—you’ll likely find yourself inundated with texts for the remainder of the project.
  • Project scope. If you don’t have clear boundaries on what your project entails—and what it doesn’t—it can be easy for the project scope to expand. But often, difficult clients will request changes to the project and not want to pay for those changes—so set clear boundaries around the project scope from the get-go and make sure to draw up a new contract any time the client makes a request for a change.
  • Treatment of staff members and contractors. If you have employees or subcontractors working with a client, you want to make sure your team is being treated with respect. Refuse to tolerate any disrespect, inflammatory language, or other type of mistreatment from your client to yourself and your team—and if they step out of line, let them know the behavior is unacceptable.

3. Commit To Professionalism

When you’re dealing with a truly difficult customer, it can be easy for your emotions to get the best of you. But as a business owner, it’s important to stay calm, separate business from personal, and commit to a sense of professionalism in all your interactions with the client.

During, keep things professional. If you find yourself face-to-face with an upset or angry client, give them the space to share their frustration—but don’t mirror their anger. When you have to navigate difficult conversations or challenging project check-ins, be aware of your facial expressions and body language. Conduct yourself in a professional manner in all your interactions with your clients—even (and especially) when they’re acting anything but professional.

Side note: there’s a difference between keeping things professional and opening yourself or your team up for abuse. If you’re dealing with an exceptionally angry customer—and the customer is screaming, yelling, or being abusive—the most professional thing you can do is walk away from the conversation until they calm down.

 

4. Document Everything

As mentioned, one of the go-to’s for hard-to-deal-with clients is the “he said, she said” game; they’ll claim you said, did, or promised one thing—while you know that you said, did, or promised nothing of the sort.

Having a written contract at the start of the project will help to avoid a lot of these “he said, she said” misunderstandings. But there are plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings after the contract has already been drawn up—which is why it’s important to document all your interactions with the client.

Keep a record of all the phone calls with your client; after the phone call, write down the time, date, and what was discussed. If you have a video call, do the same thing. Keep all your emails and other written communication in a folder. Not only will having documentation of all your client interactions help you to address any misunderstandings with the client in the future, but it will also be helpful if you end up having to take legal action against the client (or they decide to take legal action against you).

 

5. Own Up To Your Mistakes

There’s a difference between difficult clients and unhappy clients. If the reason your client relationship is difficult is that you dropped the ball or under-delivered on your project, it’s important to own up to that.

If a customer is upset because of what they perceive to be a problem on your end, listen to how the client feels—and if their concerns are warranted, it’s important to take every step necessary to address the client’s concerns and right the situation

For example, if a client is being difficult—and, after a conversation, you find out the reason is that your crew has been arriving at the job site an hour late every day? Own up to the mistake, apologize to the customer, and take any steps necessary to ensure, moving forward, your crew arrives on time and ready to work—and follow up with the client to make sure that happens.

Bottom line? Unhappy customers are different from difficult customers; they’re unhappy for a reason—and as a business owner, it’s important to address that reason and fix it.

 

6. Don’t Take The Blame When It’s Not Warranted

It’s important to own up to any mistakes you make with your clients. But some clients will want you to take the blame even when things aren’t your fault—and in those cases, it’s important to hold your ground.

For example, if your crew shows up late to a home improvement job site, that’s on you. But if your client isn’t home to let them in when they arrive (and the job starts late as a result), that’s on them—or if there’s a natural disaster that shuts down roads and your crew can’t safely get to the job site, that’s on no one.

The point is, you always want to listen and acknowledge your clients—but you don’t need to accept the blame from a difficult client for situations that are out of your control.

 

7. Escalate The Situation When Necessary

Sometimes, you can do everything right when dealing with difficult clients—but you still don’t get the outcome you want or need.

And in those situations, sometimes the best thing to do? Escalate the situation. There are a variety of situations where you might need to take things to the next level when dealing with a difficult client, including:

  • The client refuses to pay for outstanding invoices. A non-paying client that refuses to settle an outstanding invoice (despite your best efforts) can negatively impact your business’ cash flow—and you may need to escalate the situation and send a demand letter or take them to small claims court in order to collect and settle the non-payment. You could also send the unpaid bill to a debt collection agency—and allow the collection agency to handle the debt collection/nonpayment issue for you.
  • Fee disputes. If you and your client disagree on the amount of money owed for a job or project—and you can’t come to an agreement on your own—you may need to have the dispute mediated by a law firm.
  • Breach of contract. If your client is in direct breach of a contract (whether that’s by ignoring unpaid bills for a certain amount of time or refusing to settle unpaid fees that are past due), it’s within your legal rights to take them to court for violating the contract.

Making the choice to take legal action against a client isn’t easy; not only can it make an already challenging client situation more difficult, but there are also significant costs involved (including the time investment and the legal fees to cover an attorney or law firm’s legal services). Before you decide to escalate a client situation, talk to a lawyer for legal advice—and make sure it’s the best course of action for you.

 

8. If A Client Becomes Too Difficult To Deal With? Just Walk Away

All of these strategies can help you more effectively navigate challenging client relationships. But if you’ve tried everything on this list and a client is just too difficult to deal with, the good news? You can always just walk away.

As a business owner, the decision-making power lies with you; you get to decide who you work with and who you don’t. And if a client becomes too much of a hassle, you can always walk away—and make room in your schedule for clients who are going to be easier to work with.

 

This article first appeared on hourly.io.

 

Deanna deBara - 8 Strategies For Dealing With Difficult Clients
-Deanna deBara is a freelance writer living in Portland, OR. When she’s not busy building her business or typing away at her keyboard, she enjoys spending time hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

PayTabs

How To Pay Employees In A Small Business With 8 Steps
If you’re a new business owner, learning how to pay your employees may seem tricky. After all, you can’t just hand them a wad of cash. You need to document every dollar that passes through your hands to theirs in a legal way.

‍Fortunately, the process isn’t as daunting as it seems.

In this guide, you’ll learn:‍

  • Different types of compensation classifications
  • How to determine how much to pay an employee
  • How to pay an employee in a small business

Different Types of Compensation

There are three primary ways that businesses compensate their employees:

  • Hourly wages
  • Fixed annual salary
  • Commission

Hourly Compensation

Hourly wages are based on an hourly rate. The employee’s pay is determined by how much time they work during a pay period.

For example, you could pay an associate $20 per hour for their work. If they work 80 hours in a pay period, they are owed $1,600.

An hourly wage is ideal for a part-time employee or someone who doesn’t work a consistent schedule, like a restaurant server. Typically, hourly workers are “non-exempt,” which means they qualify for overtime pay.

Salaried Compensation

Salaried employees are paid a fixed annual rate. Each payday they are paid a consistent figure, which is determined by dividing their annual salary by the number of pay periods.

For example, with a $60,000 annual salary and a bi-weekly pay period, an employee will receive $2,307 in pre-tax wages each payday.

Salaries are best for corporate roles in which the employee’s time input is predictable. Salaried employees are typically exempt from receiving overtime pay.

Commission-Based Compensation

You can also pay employees on commission. They would potentially earn a low base rate — which can be hourly or salaried — plus additional pay based on predetermined sales goals.

For example, a salesperson at your company might have a $35,000 base annual salary. On top of that, they also earn a commission based on a percentage of any deals they close.

Commission-based compensation is ideal for sales roles, as it incentivizes employees to meet specific goals.

Refer to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) to ensure that you are properly compensating your employees while adhering to minimum wage and overtime laws.

How Much to Pay an Employee

How much you should pay your employees depends on what your competitors are paying for similar roles.

Conduct market research to see what other companies in your field and location pay for the role you’re hiring for, or for the type of work you need to be done.

Online tools like PayScale and Salary crowdsource pay rates from around the country.

How to Pay an Employee as a Small Business

To start paying employees, you’ll need to set up a payroll system.

First, let’s uncover what processing payroll involves. Then, we can explore the best payroll options for small business owners.

1. Collect Paperwork from Your Employees

Have new employees and current employees fill out and submit these tax forms:

If you plan on paying your employees via direct deposit, you will need to request their banking information as well.

2. Calculate Pre-Tax Pay

Determine your employees’ gross pay for the pay period:

  • Hourly employees: Multiply their hourly rate by the number of hours they worked during the pay period.
  • Salaried employees: Divide their yearly salary by the number of pay periods in your annual payroll schedule.
  • Commission employees: Determine their hourly or salaried base pay. Then, add their commission earnings for that pay period, based on your company’s commission structure.

3. Determine Tax Withholding

Refer to the paperwork you collected from employees to calculate how much of their earnings you need to withhold for (pre-tax and post-tax):

  • Federal income taxes
  • State income taxes
  • Local taxes
  • FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act), which comprises Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes, a.k.a. payroll taxes.
  • Deductions for benefits such as healthcare, retirement savings plans, flexible spending accounts, and commuter benefits

If applicable, you’ll also want to consider the cost of unemployment insurance, including SUTA (State Unemployment Tax Act) and FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act). Typically, this is not deducted from employees but paid on the employer side.

4. How to Pay an Employee: Calculate Net Pay

You’ve determined your employees’ gross pay and how much to withhold from their paycheck in taxes. Calculate their net pay by subtracting the withheld amount from their gross pay.

For example, if an employee’s gross pay for the pay period is $2,500 and $680 needs to be withheld for taxes, the employee receives a payment of $1,820 on payday.

5. Distribute Paychecks to Your Employees

Now it’s time to pay your employees the net pay they are owed. Checks and direct deposits are the most popular ways to pay an employee.

If you use direct deposit, refer to the bank information your employees gave you. Alternatively, you can have your bank or payroll provider cut checks for employees.

6. File Taxes

You are responsible for paying taxes on behalf of your W-2 employees. Take the portion of the employee’s paycheck that has been withheld (determined in step three) and distribute those funds to the proper places. Specifically, file taxes with the IRS, your state’s tax collection agency, and (if applicable) your municipality’s tax collection agency. Note that some taxes are paid only by the employer.

7. Pay Into Benefits

Not all withheld pay will go to the government. Depending on your company, a portion may go toward employee benefits.

This might include contributions toward:

  • Health insurance
  • Retirement
  • Commuter benefits
  • Health savings accounts
  • Flexible spending accounts

If you offer any employee benefits program, make a payment on behalf of your employees into the relevant accounts.

8. Update Payroll Records

You’ll need to keep your payroll records for several years in case of an audit. Keep your payroll register up to date, organized, and accessible. Include information about who got paid, how much they worked, how much they were paid, and what taxes were withheld.

How to Pay an Employee: Best Payroll Solution for Small Businesses

Payroll sounds complicated, doesn’t it? How do small business owners handle it?

Enterprise-level businesses have in-house teams dedicated to paying employees. Small businesses may not be able to afford a payroll specialist or even have enough people on the payroll to warrant the expense.

However, even one-person businesses are responsible for labor law compliance and tax withholding in most cases.

Using payroll software is the best way to pay employees in a small business. It’s cost- and time-effective. In fact, payroll software automates each step of the detailed payroll process we just covered, including distributing payments.

Final Thoughts: How to Pay an Employee in a Small Business

There’s a lot to know when it comes to paying your staff.

First, you must determine how much they’ll make and how you’ll pay them. Then, you have to determine whether your staffs are W-2 employees or 1099 contractors to figure out whether you are responsible for withholding their taxes. Finally, you must run payroll correctly (and on a regular schedule) to make sure everyone is happy on payday.

 

This article was contributed by Maddy Osman and originally posted on Hourly.io

 


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PayTabs Egypt and zVendo join hands

Together, the two companies “zVendo and PayTabs Egypt” collaborate to allow online businesses to run an outstanding local fully integrated eCommerce platform that offers an exceptional customer experience for your clients.

Know more about zVendo.

Established in 2018 by the primary founders of leading e-commerce solutions company Business Boomers, zVendo emerged from Egyptian developers and was set up to cater to the Middle Eastern and Arab world. The main aim was to enable businesses to start selling online in a blink of an eye and provide merchants and their customers with a localized experience that does not require having any technical knowledge.

What zVendo aimed to deliver is complete end-to-end services that cater to all customers’ needs and which enhances the overall customer experience leaving no delivery channel or services overlooked together with complete omni-channel support.

The omnichannel enabler provides multiple selling channels, from an online store to a mobile app and POS systems, product feeds for social media platforms, marketplaces, and product aggregators.

zVendo provides subscription-based packages to support businesses of all sizes. Ranging between freemium and full-fledged features, they include more than 20 ready-made payment and shipping integrations. The Arabic language is available to online stores as a free feature to all packages.

 

PayTabs & zVendo Collaboration

 

The strategic partnership between PayTabs Egypt and zVendo will guarantee that shoppers receive a wide range of services under a one-stop platform seamlessly. With their contributions, the collaboration is intended to provide a direct payment integration with a wide range of services that help small businesses start their online businesses and then grow in a sustainable and productive way, these services are represented in several payments directly connected to the online store, from credit-card payments, to ValU, Meeza and Fawry.

Paytabs and zVendo collaboration is an initiative launched by the Central Bank of Egypt to encourage the digital transformation and the transition to digital payments in Egypt. zVendo and Paytabs Egypt are collaborating to provide merchants with everything they need to digitize their business and to start their businesses online.

If you are looking to expand your business and kick the online sphere, zVendo and PayTabs are here to support you with that.