Merchant Centre

By Popular Demand POLi is Now Available on Shopify

Over the last year loads of merchants have asked us when we are going to support Shopify with our payment option that lets customers use their own Internet Banking. 

Well, we're delighted to announce our new partnership with Shopify formally starting in July 2015. So, if you’re a Shopify website owner (or are thinking about becoming one) make sure you select POLi as a payment option on your storefront. 

Want to know more? Read the post below to find out how to set up POLi in your Shopify store and how much it costs.

Already convinced? Click here to sign up now

 Click to Tweet: Shopify retailers can now use POLi in their stores. Credit cards no longer a must have!

Benefits of using POLi with Shopify

1 Get more transactions from customers who prefer to use their own money or don’t have a credit card

2 Pay less per transaction versus other payment options

3 Remove the pain of matching direct bank transfers with online banking payments

4 POLi is very easy to set up and install in your Shopify store – it’s a 2 minute job

Get more transactions through your Shopify store with POLi

POLi is a secure, effective, and user-friendly way for your customers to pay for purchases online without using a credit card. Many major companies, small businesses and untold consumers trust it every day to complete thousands of transactions.

Despite there being massive growth in online shopping in New Zealand, up to a third of adult New Zealanders don’t own (or want to use) a credit card. Even being conservative, this amounts to a decent slice of the 4.6 million residents in the country3So, by offering POLi, Shopify merchants can tap into a potential gold mine of additional sales.


Get more sales but pay less

Shopify offers credit card payment solutions via an impressive array of payment gateways. However, payment gateways come with significant fees and a heap of hoops to jump through.

POLi is different. As you’re not dealing with credit card schemes, there are no surcharges and you only pay for completed transactions. Also, POLi doesn’t charge retailers set-up or service fees.

POLi transaction fees are only 1% of each transaction value plus GST. This is an extremely competitive rate and it’s capped at $3.00 per transaction! 

How does POLi’s costs compare?




Set up

Transaction Fee or MSF

Payment Gateway (per tx)

Monthly Service Fees


(full solution*)


3.4% + $0.45 (USD ?)



Credit Cards


4% - 6%

$0.15 - $0.25

$25 - $60



1% (capped at $3)





1.2% (capped at $3)


$25 - $60 **











See more at about how much you should expect to pay with an online payment system.

Offer direct bank transfers online in 4 simple steps


Do you offer credit terms or direct bank transfer payment options in your Shopify store? If you do, you’ll be used to manually reconciling all those direct bank transfers – and what a pain it is! 

1 Simply set up your POLi account

2  Install POLi in your Shopify store

3 Whenever a customer chooses to pay with POLi they will be taken directly to their Online Banking to complete the transaction.

4 You receive the money and ship the goods.

How Can I Offer POLi Payments in my Shopify Store?

As a business owner, we know that your time is precious so signing up with POLi is quick and easy. We have streamlined the process into a few simple steps:

1 Apply for a POLi Merchant Account. It is far easier than the approval process with credit card companies. Click here to apply.

2 Once we have provisioned your account, we'll send you some simple instructions. Set up only takes a few minutes.

3 Log into your Shopify store and install POLi.

You don't need to be tech-savvy to start using POLi

Getting set up with POLi and installing it on your Shopify site is easy! We’ve made our processes as straightforward as possible. And, our friendly technical team is on hand to get you up and running in no time.

When you combine this with Shopify’s ethos of simplicity, POLi and Shopify really are a winning combination.

Our Shopify store owners are loving POLi

“I feel confident that the option to have POLi on our website makes us different from our competitors. I think our customers really respect that we have this option as well as they now have a quicker and easier way to pay.”

Laura, Owner & Founder, magichollow

A great example of POLi and Shopify in action is the retailer magichollow, an online vintage clothing store- specialising in on- trend, unique products.

Their target demographic is teenagers in the 14 – 18 year age bracket many of whom do not have a credit or debit card. This meant they had to manually reconcile most of their online sales payments which was time consuming yet vital to their business model.

So using POLi as a payment option in their store was an absolute no-brainer that has saved them time, money and offers their customers a better checkout experience.

Read the full case study here.

Are you new to Shopify?

If you’re new to Shopify and what it has to offer, here’s a quick rundown of some of the best bits.

Shopify tools

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

  • Track orders and manage inventory with ease from day one.
  • Easily optimise the shopping experience on any number of mobile devices.
  • Present your products in the best light with pictures, zoom function, and a photo gallery. It also adjusts its views depending on what device the customer is using to view your page.
  • Retrieve lost sales with easy to use cart abandonment. This will later notify shoppers via email that their selections are still available for purchase and waiting for them.
  • Straightforward management tools for calculating taxes and shipping rates.

How Do I Set Up My Shopify Storefront?

There are many free default ‘themes’ that can help you create a super functional and aesthetically pleasing storefront when you sign up.

These can be easily customised by adding your logo, colours, fonts, etc. Shopify Experts can help you take it to the next level by creating something unique for you and your products or services. This does cost more but can be a better deal than hiring an outside consultant to set up something similar for you.

Click here for more information about their storefront options.

So, do you want to get started?

Hopefully the benefits of using POLi in your Shopify store are clear. By offering your customers a non-credit card payment option, you could get more transactions at a lower cost and remove a ton of unwanted admin to boot!

1 Sign up for POLi now by clicking this link

2 Get in touch if you need help with anything

If you already have POLi and want to set it up on your Shopify store, read these instructions.

Until next time,

Jeff Skidmore

Director, POLi


Showcase: magichollow blazing the way on Shopify

We love to showcase fantastic New Zealand websites. With the launch of the new POLi payment option for Shopify, there's no better place to start than with magichollow

magichollow was one of our first merchants to trial POLi in their Shopify store. Their target demographic are teenagers in the 14 – 18 year age bracket many of whom do not have a credit or debit card. This meant they had to manually reconcile most of their online sales payments, which was time consuming yet vital to their business model.

So, using POLi as a payment option in their store was an absolute no-brainer that has saved them time, money and offers their customers a better checkout experience.

Want to go shopping now? Click here.

Read magichollow's story told by its founder, Laura.

Online vintage magic was born in 2012

I started selling vintage clothing when I was 14 on trademe as a way of earning pocket money. After working in minimum wage office jobs and studying a communications degree that I was not interested in, I realised that there wasn’t much point continuing to be uninspired by what I did. So in January 2012 I started magichollow, an online vintage clothing store specialising in on-trend, unique products. 

"I'm Laura. I hand curate every single item you see on magichollow. I will literally search anywhere for the coolest, most unique vintage and it all ends up here. I have the best job ever."

Laura, Owner & Founder, magichollow

Meteoric rise on Facebook

I started magichollow on Facebook and we grew through word of mouth and advertising for 2 years. We garnered over 14,000 likes on Facebook and built up a wickedly loyal base. Our customers were predominately in the 14-18 age bracket looking for the kind of fashion that wasn't readily available in NZ. 

The move to Shopify

When we first started out on Facebook, customers would comment “sold” on the photo of an item they wanted to buy. They would leave their email address which I would respond to with t&c’s and also my bank account details. However, there was a major problem with this payment system. Customers would often comment "sold" on something but then not get back to us. This left the product unavailable for a period of time when other potential customers could buy it. And even when customers did follow through on the purchase, I still had to go backwards and forwards into my Internet Banking to check when the payment had been made.

This was creating a loss in revenue, confusion for our customers and drowning me in paperwork! Something had to be done.

So, I decided to research ecommerce website solutions. And, because many of our customers did not own a credit card, I knew that having a bank deposit feature was hugely important for the transition of our customers from Facebook. 

How POLi helped

One weekend, when paying for the Northern Gateway toll, I saw the option to pay via Internet Banking using POLi. This excited me as I knew this was the payment solution I was looking for. I sent POLi an email the next day and immediately had a response explaining how the system worked and that a plugin-in for Shopify was in the making. 

The timing worked out perfectly as the beta testing for POLi became available just as we were planning to launch the website. Creating a seamless transition of payment methods for our current customers was hugely important and POLi made that happen. 

POLi is great because it means no one misses out. It's extremely easy to use and our customers have had no problem figuring out how complete the transaction on their own. 

I feel confident that the option to have POLi on our website makes us different from our competitors. I think our customers really respect that we do have that option as well seeing as it was the only way to pay when we were just selling on Facebook. 

Right now 20% of our sales are through PoliPay, with more expected as we continue to promote and push customers to use that option. 

Ready to go shopping?

If you're looking for something new for your wardrobe, visit magichollow today.

Web:             Facebook

Interested in using POLi on your Shopify Store?

Just like magichollow, by offering your customers an Internet Banking payment option, you could get more transactions at a lower cost and remove a ton of unwanted admin to boot!

1 Sign up for POLi now by clicking this link

2 Get in touch if you need help with anything

If you already have POLi and want to set it up on your Shopify store, read these instructions.

Until next time!

Jeff SkidmoreDirector, POLi

Mobile Commerce and what it means to your online business

E-retailers simply can’t afford to ignore the mobile world anymore. If you have a website and it's not fully functional (and that includes online payments) on a mobile device (smartphone, tablet or fablet) you have to question whether your website is truly effective as a business channel.

Whether your website is brand new shiny out of the box or has been around for a few years, you can’t afford to take your eye off the world in which New Zealand’s online consumers are living. We live in fast, connected, mobile-enabled world and if your website isn’t part of it, you’re going to lose out.

Life is getting faster and people’s shopping habits are following suit. People shop online between doing other things (when shopping used to actually be the ‘thing’ they were doing). Whether a spot of online shopping is squeezed in on the bus to work, on a tablet while watching Sky On Demand or on the sly in the office when the boss isn’t looking, one thing is for sure: businesses that can’t keep up with the pace are going to lose the race.

2 out of 3 Kiwis now have a smartphone

2.7 million New Zealanders now have access to a smartphone (and probably a tablet as well). Do you honestly think they aren’t using these devices to shop? Clearly they are and the fact that all the leading subscription-based ecommerce platforms (Magento, Prestashop et al) are making responsive websites the norm (more on this below), just goes to show that the big boys are taking this pretty seriously. 

But what about the smaller Kiwi e-retailers? How do they step up to the plate?

The options

Depending on your budget and appetite for change, there are two main options for online stores.

Mobile eCommerce

The simple explanation.

Mobile eCommerce sites are often smaller versions of their desktop counterparts with fewer products and slimmed down functionality (eg cross sell widgets don’t feature). ‘Smaller’ in this context means less - of everything: less functionality, fewer products, fewer options, fewer pages, no advertising etc. 

From an administrative point of view this could be a winner. You just need to create a mini version of your website (cheaper than a full rebuild) and there are less pages to curate. However, the flip side of the coin is that your customers might not get exposure to all of your products, offers and specials which isn’t necessarily all that great!

Mobile websites are certainly better than nothing. But what we are interested in is responsive websites. And for good reason.

Responsive eCommerce

Responsive eCommerce is the best option because you only have to build and manage one website (rather than two) and because it will function perfectly on all mobile devices. The shopping experience is also optimal and allows customers to flit between desktop, tablet and smartphones (which they will do during the shopping process). Who wants to find a product on a desktop, save it to their wish list only to return later on a mobile phone to discover the wish list option isn’t available?

Responsive eCommerce is faster, easier to administer, costs less to maintain and offers an far better shopping experience than mobile eCommerce. It really is a clear cut winner.
How will responsive eCommerce impact my online sales?

67% of online shoppers are much more likely to purchase from a shopping site that works well on a mobile device. I would be prepared to place bets that very few consumers would be happy to complete a transaction end to end on their mobile if they have to use the desktop version of the site. 

A working example of this is with Trademe. This is a monster of a website, crammed full of products, prices, promotions you name it. Yet, it works like a dream on a smartphone. Consider the lost sales if they didn’t invest in making a mobile version of their site? 

So, go responsive or go out of business

Whether your website is a bedroom business or an international superstore (or both!) don’t put off mobile eCommerce. More and more New Zealanders are shopping online on smartphones and tablets and if they find your site, what will they see?

The POLi team

The Rise of Online Shopping in New Zealand

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular all around the world, but the tide of change feels like it has taken its time to reach our shores.

Well no longer. It’s fair to say that online shopping has truly taken off in New Zealand with the rate of adoption picking up speed each and every quarter.

Looking back a few years, it was very difficult to find international clothing brands outside of a very few fashionable stores in Auckland. Take for example, the extremely fashionable line of ‘Next’ clothing from the UK (a popular but mid-market brand) which was for many years only available from the super-trendy ‘The Department Store’ in Takapuna, Auckland. 

Today, Next clothes are available direct from the UK online via as well as being available in New Zealand via

The impact on New Zealand Retailers

According to research published by MYOB in July 2013 around a third of NZ small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) operated a website. When you consider that over 80% of New Zealand businesses are categorized as SMEs, it shows the potentially devastating impact that international competition could have on our home retailers.

Traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses that have been slow to embrace online shopping have suffered (and will continue to do so). By resisting investment in online channels, they have simply been unable to cater to the rapidly changing demands of savvy online shoppers. 

Even retailers that have been in business for decades and have built up a loyal customer base are feeling the effects of online shopping in New Zealand. One increasingly popular practice among customers involves examining and comparing instore and then once a choice is made purchasing that product online, often at a cheaper price. The stores manage to display the products that the potential customers would want, but they don't get any business from them. Functionally, they are displaying them for free and for the benefit of the online retailer. The reverse is also true as well (research online, buy in store), but as Kiwi's become more comfortable with online purchase we predict the former will become the dominant practice.

Customers leaving stores without purchasing anything that they've examined or tried on has always happened, but it is now common enough to be a national trend in New Zealand. Boutiques that operate locally and do not stock international brands are most likely struggling the most.

However, the change in consumer buying behaviour has allowed many smaller businesses to open online-only stores and run businesses with much lower overheads than traditional high street style shops. This has allowed them to compete with much larger businesses and remain profitable.
So, bad for some and good for others. 

So what’s the bigger picture?

It is still very much the big international brands that dominate the online shopping landscape in this country and, ironically, this could be protecting NZ businesses to a certain extent. 

But, whilst the sentiment that causes New Zealand consumers to ‘only buy Kiwi’ is still very much there, I believe it is really only apathy and nervousness on the part of the New Zealand shopping public that stops them from fully embracing online shopping regardless of where the retailer is based. 

There will come a time very soon where it is totally acceptable to order clothing (or anything for that matter) online from a company based in UK, that accepts payment in your local currency, offers cheap delivery within days and free returns.

But we don’t appear to be there yet.

Online Shopping and the Generation Gap

If we interrogate the data a bit more keenly, what we see is that the highest percentages of online shopping adoption is taking place with teenagers and people in their twenties. These demographics typically have lower disposable income than people in their 30s, 40s and 50s and therefore the impact is yet to be truly felt. 

I say ‘yet’ because it doesn’t take a huge amount of deductive reasoning to figure out that this trend is only going to grow. These young people will get older and will have more money to spend and more younger people will enter their teens to fill the ranks of active online shopping fanatics.

Buy why the generation gap? 

Some marketing analysts predicted the rise of online shopping over a decade ago, but attitudes about the Internet did not advance fast enough. For many of the older individuals that operate shops in the first place, online shopping is a very new and surprising cultural change. 

However, with the younger generations, the Internet has always been part of their lives. They aren’t called “Digital Natives” for nothing. 

And it is the loss of business from these people - under the age of thirty-five - that is particularly troubling for many Kiwi retailers. Younger people form one of the most important demographics for many retailers so if they are radically changing their spending habits, retailers will have to adapt.

Shopping online for a bargain

Kiwis love a bargain, and many now recognize that online shopping is often more cost-effective than shopping in person. Online retailers don't have the same overheads as bricks and mortar businesses so they can charge less but still make a profit thus attracting the thrifty shopper.

However, I predict that this behaviour will change over time. As more and more people embrace the Internet as a medium for shopping, the emphasis on price as the determining factor will lessen. People will gravitate towards online shopping as standard rather than as a cheap alternative to going to the high street.

So what about luxury items?

The more boutique stores that operate in the luxury market will have to find ways of projecting the quality of their products in an online environment. Just like they do in their physical stores. Adjusting their prices down, rather than investing in new channels, could be a fatal mistake. 

Technological and Economic Changes

The New Zealand dollar has stayed surprisingly strong in the wake of the GFC which has made it more affordable for New Zealanders to buy products from overseas. (Just think, the GBP was 3 - 1 against the NZD only 6 years ago and now it’s 2-1.) 

Meanwhile, online shopping websites have become easier to navigate and more ubiquitous with the widespread marketing of popular eCommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify. Add to this, the widespread use of smartphones and social media and you have a ready made market of consumers demanding an alternative to putting on their shoes and going to the nearest mall. 

People are online all the time now and levels of accessibility to the Internet (and therefore online shopping) has never been so high.

It is no surprise that online shopping in New Zealand has nearly doubled in the last five years. The future of traditional retailers in New Zealand is uncertain at present. 

Hopefully, they will rise to the challenge and get onboard. 

The POLi team

Credit card surcharges - New Zealand’s sleeping giant

The NZ Herald reported back in 2013 a rising tide of discontent amongst New Zealand consumers objecting to credit card surcharges when paying for goods and services online. 

You can read the full article here.

As well as being thorny, this topic is also contentious. Firstly, New Zealanders have been relatively late in adopting online shopping en masse (and so many haven’t had call to get peeved about the issue), but also because retailers have so far justified their charging the surcharge as simply “passing on the credit card fee” that they are charged by the credit card schemes. 

So, it seems that a sleeping giant has awoken in NZ and retailers large and small are now feeling the pressure to remove the surcharge or work much harder to justify it. 

So what does this mean for online retailers?

Well, in the short term, nothing. But online sales are on the rise in NZ (with 1% growth quarter on quarter) and those retailers looking to grab their slice of the online shopping pie need to take this change in consumer sentiment seriously.

As an online retailer, you essentially have four main options (not including mobile payments which is a story for another post) when it comes to accepting payments online for your goods and services:

Send invoices to customers when an order is made.

Sending out invoices to your customers upon completion of a transaction is still a very common practice. However, in our mobile enabled world, where you can download an app onto your smartphone in seconds, consumers normally want to complete a transaction there and then. 

(This doesn’t apply to accepting online payments in arrears for services rendered however. If you send invoices to clients by email, you could use POLi Link  as a means of receiving direct payment faster.)

Accepting bank transfers as payment by publishing your bank account details

This is still fairly common place in New Zealand (especially for retailers who sell on Trademe). However, it is also time consuming to reconcile the payments, especially when the payer doesn't provide the correct reference information, and there is always the potential to ‘lose’ the sale if the customer has a change of heart after checking out but before making the Internet Banking payment.

Accept credit card payments online

Of course, most e-retailers accept credit cards (although not always American Express) as a payment option on their websites. 

But of course, with credit cards come transaction fees and, as a retailer you have to make the call as to whether you pass on those costs as a surcharge, or somehow build them into the price of your products and services. And this is where the current issue lies.

Accept direct bank transfers with POLi

The fourth option is to accept direct bank transfers. How is this different to option number 2? Well, the key to this payment method is that the entire transaction takes place online at the time of purchase. 

This has a few important benefits:

it is convenient for the customer as they don’t have to wait for an invoice, go to their internet banking, make a transfer, notify the retailer that they have made payment and wait for a response. They just make the payment right there and then;
the possibility of the customer changing their mind is significantly reduced;
the administrative burden for the retailer is far, far lower (in fact, no different to accepting credit card payments).

One million adult Kiwis do not own a credit card

To add to the confusion as to which payment options to offer consumers, there are still over a million Kiwis who do not own a credit card

What this means in practice is that as more and more New Zealanders migrate to online shopping, e-retailers are going to have to offer more payment options than credit cards alone.

And remember, those New Zealanders that do have a credit card don’t like paying a surcharge for using it (and don’t get me started on Visa Debit cards!). So what we have is a melting pot of consumers who want to buy online, with or without a credit card and with no transaction fees. 

Tackle the sleeping giant head on

So, as the credit-card-surcharge debit heats up and the sleeping giant is beginning to stir, it will fall upon NZ e-retailers to make some important decisions about how they run their businesses. If the Commerce Commission scraps the surcharge rule (and they might - who knows?), we will need to think more holistically about the payment options we offer our customers.

Many consumers will want to pay by credit card (or Visa Debit) regardless and it is down to the retailer to review their business models to see if they can absorb the costs from the facility providers. 

For those retailers who simply cannot do this and remain profitable, the obvious solution is to implement a direct bank transfer online payment system into their online store. You might be surprised to find that this is not only extremely cost effective, but also very easy to do (even for the non-techie website owners).

In fact, given there are a million Kiwis who will at some point in the near future start shopping online, I would say that a non-credit-card payment option is a must for all New Zealand eCommerce stores.

The POLi team