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Quid pro quo?

| 24 November 2015

Give or take, or tit for tat. Whatever the saying, it means that something should be traded in return for something of value. In the Netherlands, however, those tits for tats don’t always seem to come at the same time. Admittedly, this does seem a bit cryptic, but I’m just hinting at our Dutch method of payments and their requirements. This blog post will cover the particularities of the requirement of post pay. Services like Afterpay or Klarna, for example, do serve that purpose.

So what does this requirement under Dutch law exactly entail? We certainly aren’t silly, and yes, the Dutch civil code makes it perfectly clear: the buyer is obligated to pay the price. However, in the case we are dealing with consumers, the seller may not force the buyer to pay more than half the purchase price in advance. So the buyer is at all times entitled to pay at least half the purchase price after he has received the products.

Is this of relevance to you? It is if you’re offering your goods on the Dutch market. You’re offering your goods on the Dutch market when you specifically target them at the Dutch audience, by for example having your website available in the Dutch language, or by offering specific Dutch payment methods, like iDeal. So when this is the case, you should make sure that you do not only offer methods for paying in advance. Be sure you offer a payment method like Afterpay, Klarna or payment on delivery (rembours).

What about credit card payments? They are also methods of post payment, right? That depends. Credit card payments are not payments afterwards per se, but only when the credit card is actually charged after delivery. Therefore, website owners should consult with their credit card companies and check if that is actually the case. Otherwise, it most likely does not apply as a payment afterwards.

Do you think it’s scary to provide an opportunity for payments afterwards? Don’t worry! By making use of the aforementioned digital billing services, many providers actually take on the credit risk. So when things go wrong, you don’t have to chase the money yourself.

What’s even better is that by making use of post payment options, it installs some kind of trust on the side of the consumer. The consumer is therefore more likely to make a purchase, which of course is good for you as an entrepreneur. In addition, the number of payments via PayPal also appears to rise! Equally, because of the trust that has been given to the consumer.

In other words: the provision of options for payment afterwards when selling products online is not only obligated, it is a blessing in disguise! Tit for tat after all.