Alipay Payment Gateway Enters South Africa

Chinese tourists would now be able to utilize Alipay in 10,000 merchant traders in South Africa.

Alipay has reported an association with Zapper, a mobile payment, created in South Africa.

As uncovered by the firm, this partnership will enable Chinese visitors in South Africa to pay utilizing their cell phones at 10,000 Zapper-partnered dealers across South Africa.

Chinese visitors will have the capacity to pay for restaurants, bars, theaters, book shops and more through Alipay's in-app Discovery platform, and pay for their requests in RMB by means of Alipay by scanning a Zapper QR code.

We are eager to partner together with Zapper, to offer Chinese tourists a safe and convenient payment solution and seamless travel experience,” said Rita Liu, Head of Alipay EMEA.



Payments Gateways continue to dominate South Africa's fintech landscape

In 2016 $5.5 billion of venture capital investment went into payments start-ups. This represented 22% of global fintech investment activity. In South Africa, payments still dominate the fintech landscape. At AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs, we are seeing a tremendous amount of innovation in payments as SA consumers seek new ways to transact. Due to SA’s sophisticated banking infrastructure, we possess strong skills in this sector and many entrepreneurs are finding better and more efficient ways to transact. Here are some of the innovative start-ups operating in the payments space that fulfill specific customer needs.

Tapping the informal economy

As a result of migrant labour, there’s a desperate need to be able to send money home in a cost-effective way. Mama Money spotted this gap, and leverages technology to reduce the current costs of sending money cross-border by almost 50%, compared to existing money transfer solutions. This addresses a customer need and a social imperative to deliver services at a price that users can afford. It’s been so successful that it has expanded from initially sending money to Zimbabwe two years ago, to providing services in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, India and Kenya.

Zoona, which operates in Zambia and Malawi, offers domestic money transfer services to customers without needing a bank account. A key element of the model is the roll out of agent kiosks, which are like mini bank branches. This has been critical in a country with limited existing bank infrastructure. It has also empowered thousands of Zambians and Malawians to start their own businesses as Zoona agents. Zoona, in this way, increases financial inclusion by allowing citizens to transact, delivering a pleasing customer experience at a lower cost. To date it has serviced more than 1.5 million consumers and have facilitated over $1 billion in money transfers.

Facilitating payments for SMEs

Small businesses have battled to get card machines from banks. This has resulted in many SMEs operating in cash, which introduces significant risk to them personally. Even if a business qualifies, the costs associated with these card machines are often prohibitively expensive for an SME.

Yoco and iKhokha have addressed this by offering cost-friendly mobile card machines that simply plug into or connect with a mobile phone. Yoco and iKhokha have also simplified the pricing associated with card machines by not locking SMEs into expensive monthly contracts and allowing them to buy the device as a once-off purchase. They also offer much more competitive pricing on card swipes (2.5-3% compared to traditional bank rates of between 5-6%).

Increasing convenience for consumers

South Africa has a strong financial system but banks are behind on delivering the type of experience customers are looking for. In an on-demand economy, consumers want get things done quickly and easily – using their phones. Zapper and SnapScan allow customers to make payments via their phones as quickly as swiping a card. Restaurants and food markets have been early adopters of this technology, which vastly improves the customer experience; no more sitting around waiting for the card machine to pay the bill at the end of a meal or need to carry cash.

Walletdoc allows you to pay bills from your cellphone, thereby reducing the hassle factor. You can upload your City of Joburg bill for instance, and pay instantly without having to log into your bank or go into a Pick n Pay. In addition, the app ensures that you get loyalty points from your bank for these payments. Again, this is the type of convenience consumers demand in today’s fast-paced world.

Developing new rails

Businesses like Zapper, SnapScan and WalletDoc work on credit card and debit card “rails”. These “rails” work well, but it’s an expensive system for a business and they pay a significant portion of each transaction to banks and the card associations (Visa and Mastercard) for the convenience.

Wicode wants to take customers off card rails and onto new rails using mobile payments at retail stores – this is a game changer. It recognises that if you are introducing a new payment protocol, it needs to be easy for both the retailer and the consumer. Wicode has developed a seven-digit code as well as QR code technology, which you give to a cashier for payment. It’s simple and easy. The difficulty lies in getting people off old rails and onto new ones. However, this start-up has made great progress rolling out its solution into Pick n Pay, Shoprite and Vida e Café.

Bitcoin companies are also working on new rails – the blockchain’s decentralised ledger. Luno, which allows you to buy, store or pay with Bitcoin, takes the view that banks are expensive and slow. Luno realised it could leverage this new technology, which allows users to make payments that are cleared in less than ten minutes. People appreciate Bitcoin as a store of value, but have realised that it’s also a quick and easy way to pay for things. Finally, this is a rail that has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the traditional bank payment and card rails and gives an enhanced customer experience at a much lower cost.

Serving business needs

Electrum takes friction out of the payment system for corporates. Because there are different payment protocols – Bitcoin, mobile, cards, airtime – Electrum allows all these different options to be able to transact with a corporate in the changing payments landscape. It also allows corporates like retailers and banks to sell new products like data, airtime and movie vouchers to their customers. These value-added services are a great revenue stream for retailers and banks.

Peach Payments is a payment gateway and an integration layer which allows online and offline merchants to accept payments across all channels – website, mobile sites and mobile apps. It gives them access to all payment methods including credit/debit cards, bank transfers, mobile wallets, electronic wallets and mobile operator billing. This is important for retailers as they embrace an omni-channel world and servicing customers across physical and digital channels.

The payments landscape is changing rapidly. Fintech startups are gaining momentum and are beginning to shape how, where and when payments are made with new options and solutions being presented to customers at an ever-greater speed. This will have tremendous impact on the banking system as we know it. The race is on and the battle for the customer in this space is about to get more intense.

Source: Dominique Collett AlphaCode


PayFast South African Payment Gateway 80 000 Registered Merchants

The company has over 1.5 million unique buyers having used the service by 2016.

PayFast is celebrating its 10th birthday amidst a flurry of FinTech players and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin set to challenge its business.

The company was launched by Jonathan Smit in 2007 in South Africa.

This South Africa’s Biggest Online Payment Gateways was set up make online transactions simple, secure and accessible to all South African sellers and buyers.

Even though in 2007 online retailing in South Africa was still in its infancy, PayFast would revolutionize the local e-commerce landscape, starting with the launch of their proprietary product: Instant EFT.

Instant EFT enables buyers who hold a bank account to make online payments that are immediately verified. This service opened the e-commerce market to a whole new consumer segment, changing the playing field of the online payments sector.

PayFast soon identified that the requirement to open a merchant account to accept card payments was slowing down the potential growth of South Africa’s e-commerce industry. This inspired PayFast to again lead the way in developing a progressive onboarding flow that made it easy for anyone, even individuals, to accept card payments.

As PayFast hits the 10 year landmark, a look back showcases a series of industry firsts, including offering Bitcoin as a payment method in 2014, launching the first South African payment gateway option for the growing Shopify platform in 2012 and making the PayFast plugin for the ever-popular Woocommerce shopping cart available for free to South Africans in 2013.

More recently PayFast launched another game-changer with their recurring billing and subscription service, encouraging innovative new business models for merchants and simplified payment options for customers. It is technological advances such as these, that ensure that South African merchants remain at the forefront of innovation and growth in the e-commerce sector.

PayFast’s standard card fees have been reduced from 3.9% to 3.5% as part of the 10th birthday celebration. The reduction in fees is valid from 21 June 2017 until 31 December 2017 and applies to existing merchant accounts as well as new accounts registered during the promotion period.

By Gugu Lourie -


EFTsecure New Payment Gateway Available For Online Shoppers in SA

Does your Web site allow your customers to make convenient and secure payments? The ability to make instant EFT payments in a few seconds?

To become the fastest payment gateway available when shopping online in South Africa – this is the challenge EFTsecure co-founder and CEO, JP van der Spuy, set for his team: "To build a platform that will not only be the most convenient method to pay online, but also the fastest method of online payment transfers. This is exactly what EFTsecure offers and it does the task brilliantly. So, how does it work?"

When making a payment online, the customer logs into his/her online banking via the EFTsecure Gateway and simply approves the transaction directly with his/her own bank. EFTsecure payments are as easy as that.

The team at EFTsecure believes that bank transfers will become the norm for online payments, surpassing cards in the near future. This can be seen in the US and Europe as EFTs were developed to pay online. Credit cards require four-digit pins and chip readers, while EFT payments were designed to be more digital and less prone to fraud.

What are the benefits of EFTsecure Payment Gateway for my Web site?

With the EFTsecure Payment Gateway Widget, your Web site can now accept payments from millions of South Africans. Your customers can conveniently pay, on your Web site, without being redirected away, using their cheque, savings or credit card accounts. While it is much more secure and convenient for your customers, all funds are guaranteed without any risk of fraud or chargebacks. Card payments can cost as much as 5% due to the high risks, but EFTsecure is available at a fraction of the costs for your online store. All funds are paid directly into your bank account, improving your cashflow. EFTsecure also supports EFT refunds for the merchant, an industry first for EFT payments in South Africa.

It takes less than five minutes to activate your EFTsecure account. With a variety of e-commerce plugins and APIs available, your Web site will be accepting instant EFT payments in no time – don't delay. Ensure you have integrated the best payment gateway for your Web site and that EFTsecure is offered to all your customers.


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