E-commerce became a mainstream shopping channel in South Africa in 2014, according to local payments platform PayGate.
According to PayGate, the number of e-commerce players has increased over the past year with a boom in new e-commerce companies launching, as well as established companies launching new services, while the number of transactions taking place has also increased substantially.
“The number of merchants we serve doubled this year, and the vast majority of those are new entrants to the market. We’ve also seen significant growth in the number of transactions. Considering the weakness of the SA economy and of the rand, that’s an extremely positive development,” said PayGate chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Harvey.
“The big banks and retailers are now really pushing their e-commerce offerings,” he said.
PayGate believes this growth is fuelled by improvements in payments security and convenience, encouraging more South Africans to turn to online shopping.
“It has become much easier, more convenient and more secure for ordinary South Africans to buy goods and services online. Anecdotally, we’ve noticed that the number of packages being delivered to our own offices has gone through the roof this year,” said Harvey.
PayGate itself has launched a number of payments offerings throughout the past year; Zapper and MasterPass catering to the increasing levels of mobile-based online shopping; and Payment Collection Service (PCS) launched for startups and small businesses.
“Navigating the banking system has been a barrier to entry for a long time. PCS aims to get new online retailers into the system quickly and easily – they can literally activate an account and start trading overnight. There’s also a clear path for them to migrate to more sophisticated payment services with different fee structures as their business grows,” said Harvey.