Kiwipay Review scores 4/5

When I interviewed Galen King for an article for New Zealand Entrepreneurs in September 2013, I made the erroneous assumption that Kiwipay and PayPal were rivals in the payment platform market. That’s because I hadn’t tried it yet. Indeed the only similarity between  the two is that they are both payment platforms.

Since then, I’ve signed up to Kiwipay and have had a chance to get to know it a little. Here’s my review on Kiwipay.

The Plans

Kiwipay has three main plans, and an option for charities. All of them boast

  • no transaction fee, application fee, or term commitment.
  • automatic disbursement of funds 3 business days to your bank account.
  • notification web hooks and payment form hooks.
  • compatibility with all New Zealand banks

Only Visa and Mastercard can be accepted with all plans.

The Startup plan deducts 3.9% commission but has no monthly fee. Anyone can join the Startup plan and stay for as long as they like, but as the volume of payments going through Kiwipay increases, it will become more economical to move up to one of the other plans. Moving between plans costs nothing.

The Small plan deducts 3.3% commission and has a $19 monthly fee. The Startup and Small plans cost the same when you begin processing $3,167.66 a month.

The Medium plan deducts 2.9% commission and costs $39 a month. The Small and Medium plans cost the same when you begin processing $1666.66 a month. Startup and Medium cost the same when you begin processing $3,900 a month.

In comparison to other services available, Kiwipay is neither on the cheap nor the expensive end of the scale.

Paypal has a commission rate of 3.4% when you’re processing between $0 and $5000 NZD.

BNZ’s PayClip charges customers $10 a month and 3.25% commission on a 3 year contract. The actual clip normally costs $50, but is waived if customers sign up before January 31 2014. The PayClip and the Medium plan cost the same at $8,285 processed a month. The lower cost and the clever technology in the BNZ PayClip is likely to attract vendors and merchants who are processing payments on-site.

I would rate the Kiwipay plans 3/5 considering cost vs. offering.
  • I like that you can choose what plan you want to be on without having a threshold to reach.
  • There are more economic options out there.

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The Sign-Up Process

The sign-up process is cumbersome and time-consuming. If I had to say what I dislike most about the whole Kiwipay experience, it would be this.

The first step is to complete an enquiry form, which is essentially a registration of interest. No problems there.

Kiwipay will then ask that you send them:
1. A copy of New Zealand driver’s licenses for all principals (directors, trustees etc)
2. A copy of recent bank statement or deposit slip showing your organisation’s name and account number
3. Proof of your address (such as a copy of a utility bill or bank statement)
4. A letter from your bank confirming signing authority for this account
5. The completed and signed direct debit authority

Kiwipay is subject to the rules and regulations surrounding the processing of funds and direct debits, so, to my knowledge, there is nothing they can do to improve the sign-up experience. However, completing that list is time-consuming, as compared to other services where there are automated verification systems.

I would rate the Kiwipay sign-up process 2.5/5 considering effort required vs. offering.
  • I must say that I certainly did appreciate being taken care of by the same representative the whole way through the process.

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The Core Service

After your application is successful, you receive a URL which is essentially what your Kiwipay account consists of.

Loving minimalist design, I was quite enthusiastic about the fact that there is no sign-in, no messy dashboard, and no pesky email reminders begging you to return to the application to sign into your account. It’s just the URL.

I would personally choose Kiwipay any day over BNZ’s PayClip or PayPal because of its simplicity.

Galen King, Kiwipay founder, comes from a design background, which is evident throughout the whole application, especially here.

Users can pre-populate the client’s name and the amount that needs to paid using a URL generator. That information is then embedded into the URL. The information in the form can not be changed once the URL is generated. However, changing the embedded information in the URL is possible, which in turn changes what appears in the form.

For example, this URL generated the form in the image below.

I would rate the Kiwipay core service 5/5.

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Customer Service

Since Kiwipay operates on a smaller scale than other larger operations, if you have a problem with something, you’ll speak to a person straight away. The help section is abundant with information. Kiwipay’s customer service is exemplary.

I would rate the Kiwipay customer service experience 5/5.


The sign-up process was time-consuming. Kiwipay isn’t the most cost effective option. The core service is its redeeming feature, and the customer service is extraordinary.

I love being able to support smaller businesses in New Zealand, and the fraction of a percent that makes Kiwipay more expensive than other large companies is absolutely worth paying in my opinion.

Taking all things into consideration, I’d rate Kiwipay 4/5.

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