Common payment methods for eCommerce purchases in South Africa

Choosing the right payment method for e-commerce payment can be difficult and confusing for some customers, so it is very important for customers to know and understand how each methods works when shopping online.When customers visits an e-commerce site, who are looking for a good deal on a product or service, they are looking and an easy and secure payment process. The payment gateway that is chosen for e-commerce site should instill trust before make any purchases.

E-commerce payment systems facilitates the acceptance of electronic payment for online transactions. Online payment  has become increasingly popular due to the widespread use of the internet-based shopping and banking.

Also online merchants have to comply with stringent rules stipulated by the credit and debit card issuers (Visa and MasterCard) this means that merchants must have security protocol and procedures in place to ensure transactions are more secure. This can also include having a certificate from an authorized certification authority (CA) who provides PKI (Public-Key infrastructure) for securing credit and debit card transactions. Here are some of other forms of e-commerce methods which can be utilized when shopping online:


  • Credit CardsAs a global payment solution, credit cards are the most common way for customers to pay online. Merchants can reach out to an international market with credit cards, by integrating a payment gateway into their business.
  • EFT– Has reached its maturity in South Africa. Customers know and trust it as a means of transaction. Businesses who are looking to go digital should ensure that they have included instant EFT into their payment bouquet. To ignore instant EFT would not only cut them off from the lion’s share of local shoppers, but would cut themselves off from a payment method which offers the lowest cost to company available.
  • Bank TransfersCustomers enrolled in an internet banking facility can do a bank transfer to pay for online purchases. A bank transfer assures customers that their funds are safely used, since each transaction needs to be authenticated and approved first by the customer’s internet banking credentials before a purchase happens.
  • E-walletsAn e-wallet stores a customer’s personal data and funds, which are then used to purchase from online stores. Signing up for an e-wallet is fast and easy, with customers required just to submit their information once for purchases. Additionally, e-wallets can also function in combination with mobile wallets through the use of smart technology such as NFC (near field communication) devices. By tapping on an NFC terminal, mobile phones can instantly transfer funds stored in the phone.
  • Direct DepositAre when customers instruct their banks to pull funds out of their accounts to complete online payments. Customers usually inform their banks on when funds should be pulled out of their accounts, by setting a schedule through them. A direct deposit is a common payment method for subscription-type services such as online classes or purchases made with high prices.
  • Cash Physical cash, is a payment method often used for physical goods and cash-on-delivery transactions.
  • Airbuy- The Air-buy platform does not require users to put in their banking details, as it uses digital tokens known as Airbucks to allow users to make payments on participating e-commerce sites. South African startup Airbuy has rolled out its alternative payment gateway that allows e-commerce sites to accept payments without their customers exposing their banking details.


There are different types of payment methods to choose from in South Africa . But by understanding how each one functions, knowing which online payment the store offers and which payment will help you choose a safe and secure payment methods when buying online. it can help you decide which payment methods to integrate.

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