Entropay & ShopAndShip – Paypal and Alternative in Lebanon
As an Electronic Engineer, I constantly need components, tools and services that are not available in the local market. I tend to order the electronic components I need from Mouser, and the PCB/PCBA from online suppliers in China. These suppliers usually require a Paypal payment and very often the express shipping fees are too expensive. That is how I got introduced to Entropay and Shop and Ship.
Entropay in an online service that “gives you an easy, safe way to pay online in the form of a Prepaid Virtual Visa Card, and also a prepaid Plastic MasterCard”. After creating an account, you can create new virtual cards from your dashboard.
As you can see from the image, I currently have two active cards. In order to put money in the cards you need to use the ‘Top-up’ button. On the ‘Top-up’ screen you will be presented with two payment methods: Credit Card or Bank Transfer.
I have only tried the Credit Card method. Once the payment is confirmed, the money will instantly be available in your new virtual card.
Now you can use this new Virtual Card exactly like any normal card. The advantage is that this card will be accepted where your Lebanese card was not. For example you can now easily create a Paypal account using the new card as a payment method.
Shop and Ship
Shop and Ship is a freight forward service from Aramex. After you pay the one time opening fee, you will receive multiple addresses in different countries around the world that are linked to your local country address. When checking out from any website, you can use this information as your shipping address. When a package is received at any of these addresses, you will be notified and you will be able to track it using the website or the mobile application. The package will then be delivered to your linked local address. The shipping rates are available on the website along with a rate calculator. From my experience this is usually the cheapest express shipping rate that you will get.
Aramex is continuously adding new addresses to their list. Currently, the available addresses are :
- Hong Kong
- New York
You should be aware that some materials are unacceptable for shipping. Aramex has a clear list of all unacceptable items. If something is not clear, you can contact their customer support which is always ready to help.
I have been using these two methods for quite some time without any problems. The customer support from Aramex is really top notch. As for Entropay, I never felt the need to contact their customer support.