A payment gateway ensures that the payments ecosystem across all economic sectors continues to function smoothly, by facilitating online payments between consumers and businesses.
10 Best Payment Gateways in South Africa (2022)
A payment gateway functions by securely validating the customer’s card details, and ensuring that our funds are available in order to allow for merchants to be paid.
What is a payment gateway?
The payment gateway is the middleman between the customer and the merchant, creating a pathway for transactions to be completed securely and quickly.
When a customer clicks on the “Pay” button on your website, these are the key players involved in the payment process:
- The merchant: this is you, i.e an online business operating in any vertical (travel, retail, eCommerce, gaming, Forex, etc), offering a product or service to customers
- The customer: the customer, also called a cardholder, who wants to access the products or services that the merchant is selling, and initiates the transaction
- The issuing bank: the issuing bank is the customer’s bank that issues the cardholder’s credit or debit card on behalf of the card schemes (Visa, Mastercard)
- The acquirer: also known as the acquiring bank, the acquirer is the financial institution that maintains the merchant’s bank account (known as the merchant’s account). The acquiring bank passes the merchant’s transactions to the issuing bank to receive payment
If you run an eCommerce site, then you’re going to need a payment gateway, there’s no way around it. If you’re a newbie to the world of payments, this may seem extremely complicated and out of your league. The truth is, payment gateways aren’t as nearly complex as you may have initially believed.
Although the process may at first glance appear quite complex, it’s important to understand exactly how payment gateways work. Do your calculations and due diligence well as you consider your options, so you make the best choices for your business. Some payment gateways offer white label services, which allow payment service providers, e-commerce platforms, ISOs, resellers, or acquiring banks to fully brand the payment gateway’s technology as their own.
This means PSPs or other third parties can own the end-to-end user experience without bringing payments operations—and additional risk management and compliance responsibility—in-house. A multi-currency payment gateway enables you to accept payments in various currencies. Payment gateways enable you to process international payments and accept online payments from customers across the globe. Multi-currency processing occurs when your business can accept card payments from customers in foreign currencies.
If your business charges customers in more than one currency (for example in British pounds and euros) you are processing multi-currency payments. To set up a payment gateway for your website, you need to ask your PSP for all requirements and setup configuration details.
In this article, we explore the ten best payment gateway providers in South Africa, so that you can take your business to the next level.
Operating under the DPO Group, PayGate is a leading African payment service provider. The company enables businesses and individuals across the continent to accept payments online with all currencies and payment methods, including all major cards, mobile money, and e-wallets. DPO Group, under which PayGate operates, currently works with 100,000 merchants and holds PCI DSS Level 1 certification.
Founded in 2006, it has since grown to be a pan-African PSP with 250 employees across the continent. It has made a series of strategic acquisitions including, in 2016, PayGate, and in 2019, PayFast, South Africa’s most prominent PSPs. DPO South Africa is the local entity of the DPO Group, and is a popular choice for businesses in South Africa for the acceptance of online payments.
Through its PayGate and PayFast payment solutions, the group allows businesses of various sizes and industries to accept credit cards, mobile payments, and all major payment methods, making it easier for them to get paid online. Operating on a client-centric basis, the company works to deliver effective payment services that have the ability to simplify complex problems.
This growth model has continued to contribute to the company’s success as a market leader within a continuously evolving payments arena. As such, the PayGate business revolves around long-term, trusted, and mutually beneficial relationships.
The PayGate team consists of experienced industry participants within the digital world, and who are able to deliver simple yet intelligent solutions for a range of customers. To this end, the PayGate team works closely with its clients in mapping out secure, effective and tailored payment solutions that optimize their business growth.
New merchants that sign up with PayGate are provided access to a variety of Payment Methods through a single integration, and the company works closely with its global partners in order to ensure a streamlined payment process.
The MoneyMatrix platform supports payment processing in South Africa for all credit and debit card types, as well as a range of e-wallets, vouchers, instant bank transfer, and mobile solutions allowing merchants to localise their payment portfolio for South Africa. MoneyMatrix operates on the basis of keeping the payment processing simple, user-friendly and accessible to everyone.
Payment processing is a critical part of any business strategy, and MoneyMatrix was designed with this understanding to remove the significant overheads, costs and improve speed to market versus an in-house solution. The MoneyMatrix platform supports all types of merchants in any sector, and with a range of different operational requirements.
This includes merchants that are new to the industry and looking for a fully managed service, to those who don’t want to deal with multiple companies to achieve the payment portfolio they desire, amongst others. The MoneyMatrix platform supports payment processing for all credit and debit card types plus a wide range of e-wallets, vouchers, instant bank transfer, and mobile solutions allowing merchants to localize their payment portfolio for their target regions.
As such, the MoneyMatrix team has produced a premium PSP platform, accessed through a single integration. New payments solutions, risk management, KYC, and a whole suite of back-office applications help merchants to manage their payment business in a commercially smart, secure and compliant way. Furthermore, the MoneyMatrix payment processing platform allows merchants to consolidate all client, risk, KYC, and transactional data in the back office.
The company’s transaction monitoring application, rules engine and workspaces create an intuitive work management process flow, allowing merchants to accept and process out payments efficiently. As a PCI DSS Level 1 Certified processor, platform users can rest assured that their data is encrypted to the highest standard. Security of client data is of top priority with dedicated Card Vault storage, and failover, and disaster recovery.
Finally, MoneyMatrix streamlines processing while reducing the need for manual intervention and customer friction. The real-time rules engine allows merchants to create and deploy automatic rules reducing the need for manual intervention.
The payment gateway plugin from Yoco makes it simple to process eCommerce sales, and even integrates users’ WordPress store with Business Portal so that merchants can track their in-store and online sales in one place. Whether merchants have a WordPress store or plan on building one, the Yoco plugin makes processing payments simple.
For those users who manage websites or online stores on their clients’ behalf, the Yoco payment gateway will streamline this workflow, as it integrates with WooCommerce and WordPress to make selling simple.
The payment gateway comes with no upfront costs, and all transaction fees are capped at 3.40% (ex. VAT).
The setup process is easy enough to start selling in 5 minutes, with a simple and quick checkout process, which is PCI compliant and 3DS-enabled to be fully integrated with all Yoco payment solutions. Every sale made, whether online or through the Yoco card machine, is recorded in the merchant Business Portal, making it simple to track business performance to speed up monthly recons. The Business Portal is available completely free for anyone using Yoco, and all the information remains readily accessible.
All sales made through Yoco Point of Sale (card, cash, AFT, mobile payments, and more) show in the Yoco Business Portal. Users can keep track of their performance week by week and manage every element of their business, from products in their inventory, the price of their products, staff access, and more.
Yoco Business Portal lets merchants manage all their products through the Yoco Point of Sale app.
Users can change a price, add and remove products, and manage staff access according to roles and responsibilities, increasing productivity. Finally, the Business Portal is cloud-integrated for access to sales data from all staff members and Yoco card machines in real-time, from any location.
PayFast is a leading payment gateway for online businesses in South Africa, which enables users to seamlessly accept secure and instant online payments from anywhere in the world. Whether merchants use an existing shopping cart system or have a custom built website, PayFast offers full integration flexibility. As such, PayFast has come to be regarded as the go-to payment facilitator for businesses of any size.
Getting started with PayFast is easy, as all the process requires is a verified PayFast account that can be integrated with the merchant website. The PayFast customer services team offers support for both merchants and their customers while the company’s risk review team is committed to keeping both merchants and buyers safe.
Of particular use is that users do not even need a merchant bank account to receive payments with PayFast. PayFast has partnered with some of the leading eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, WHMCS and Magento so that merchants can easily integrate the secure payment gateway into their online stores checkout process.
PayFast has also partnered with some of the leading platforms so that merchants can easily activate PayFast as their online payment solution. As such, PayFast offers the broadest range of shopping cart integrations in Africa and has compiled comprehensive developer documentation to facilitate custom integration.
PayFast integrates with 80+ platforms to ensure that no matter what platform is used, merchants can get paid instantly and securely online. With a custom, PayFast integration merchants can start receiving payments instantly on their digital platform. The PayFast Developer Documentation includes everything users or their developer needs to know how to successfully integrate PayFast into their website. Users can manage everything related to their PayFast account through the dashboard, such as view their account balance and recent transactions, generate reports, request payouts and more.
Finally, merchants can grow their business and boost conversions by giving their customers the opportunity to pay with their preferred payment option, as PayFast supports all popular payment methods.
With more than 16 years of experience in the payments industry, Netcash is a leading payments provider to businesses and organizations of all sizes throughout South Africa. The company provides quality payment services with an advanced suite of services to assist a variety of different types of businesses and their specific needs.
Merchants can accept multiple online payment methods from their eCommerce website with Netcash’s Pay Now Gateway, which integrates with Sage Online Tools, Woocommerce, WordPress, Magento, cs.cart, Prestashop and nopCommerce. With the Pay Now Online Payment Gateway plugin, merchants have the ability to offer their clients multiple payment methods increasing the propensity of payment being made.
To this end, 3D security and PCI compliance reduce both fraud and the chances of chargebacks. Unlike with many other online payment gateway providers, merchants will have a dedicated Payments Advisor, who will address any problems as they arise and on an ongoing basis. You can be up and running in a matter of hours. Signing up with Netcash is easy, and merchants can access their account from anywhere at any time, with no software or upgrade charges incurred.
The platform system is highly navigable and user friends and users are not tied to any fixed or long-term agreements, while users only pay for the services which they request. Netcash provides one consolidated state statement to manage and monitor the movement of money, which users have the ability to earn interest on their credit balances.
Peach Payments enables simple, seamless and secure transactions for businesses and consumers in Africa. The company provides its customers with all the tools and solutions they need to sell across any digital channel while ensuring a safe experience for them and their customers. Customer service is a core part of Peach Payments’ operational mandate, and the company works hard to ensure that its customers are happy as they grow from their first transaction past their millionth.
Peach Payments currently powers businesses in South Africa and Mauritius, and will soon be launching services in Kenya, Nigeria and more countries in Africa. With their payment gateway, merchants can accept payments from users across the globe and enjoy support for multiple channels and interfaces with enterprise-grade security on a scalable and reliable global platform. Merchants can further improve their user experience and conversion with the company’s JS widget which embeds on the merchant page, and customer data can be stored in the Peach Payments vault to implement both recurring and one-click payments.
Peach Payments Plugins are available for popular eCommerce platforms including Magento and WooCommerce, while the company’s presence in multiple countries and its multi-currency platform will help merchants grow their business. With Peach Payments, users can monitor and analyze their transaction data to gain critical insights for their business, while the integration options make it easier for merchants to achieve PCI compliance.
Using the platform, merchants can also pay their sellers and partners easily using simple API to submit payout requests. Peach Payments provides a web portal to review payments, with transparent pricing that includes a flat fee per payout.
In 2013, SnapScan launched one of the first mobile payment apps in South Africa. By combining the company’s technology with Standard Bank’s impressive financial infrastructure and expertise, SnapScan has been changing the way South Africans pay and get paid. The company’s team of industry specialists continues to find faster, easier, and safer ways to transact without the fuss of handling cash or cards.
The SnapScan team seeks to ensure that people save time and have the best payment experience possible, and strive to remove unnecessary barriers, complex fee structures, and time-consuming admin to provide an innovative and streamlined solution for businesses. Whether it be a merchant that does business in a store, online, at markets or any other premises, SnapScan provides a strong variety of payment solutions.
These solutions can help add SnapScan to a variety of point-of-sale, ecommerce, and invoicing systems for simple payments, making it the smart, simple, and safe way to get paid in a snap. New merchant users can get a free Starter Kit when you successfully sign up for your business. This includes a printed SnapCode in a stand, a double-sided sticker, and info flyers for first-time app users. Merchants can display their SnapCode anywhere they want to accept mobile payments, and will automatically receive confirmation of payment via SMS.
Finally, SnapScan integrates seamlessly into a number of point-of-sale systems for quick, convenient, and totally safe mobile payments.
PayU develops innovative financial services solutions for high-growth markets across the globe, where traditional players can’t. As such, the company enables seamless payments across 50+ high-growth markets and offers local payment processing across these markets through connections to acquiring banks and alternative payment methods.
PayU develops alternative lending solutions that allow users not covered by traditional banks to access credit in a way that suits them and removes the risk to merchants. One-Click Payments is a solution from PayU that allows merchant customers to securely pay with a single click using the company’s secure PCI-DSS level 1 certified card tokenization services.
The service comes with easy integration, which simply involves adding a new payment method to the payment page. Convenience and security is provided as merchants do not have to process card details thanks to PayU’s tokenized cards. Single sign-in for customers means that the experience is simplified as all subsequent transactions do not require a sign-in.
The PayU subscription payments service also comes with easy integration to APIs that can be used to create a custom subscription plan for merchant customers along with customizable UI. Secure tokenization means that customers’ cards are securely tokenized and stored in the company’s PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant secure vault.
Users will receive a real-time response of success/failure through the subscription dashboard.
SiD Secure EFT
Founded in 1998, Setcom (Pty) Ltd has over 20 years experience in online payment processing.
Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Setcom developed the SiD Secure EFT solution in 2007 to provide South African businesses with a safe and convenient way to receive EFT payments online.
The innovative SID payment solution was the first of its kind to emerge in South Africa and remains one of the leading EFT processors in the country. Today, SiD merchants can collect secure online and mobile EFT payments via their websites, emails or invoices.
SiD Secure EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) has been one of South Africa’s most trusted online payment methods since 2007. SiD allows South African e-commerce merchants to receive secure online and mobile payments directly from their websites to their bank accounts. SiD facilitates hassle-free online payments by linking shoppers directly to their Internet Banking, pre-populating the payment details and directing them right back to the merchant’s website, where they then receive instant payment confirmation. Bank-level security, such as one-time PIN verification remains in place during the SiD payment, thereby ensuring complete protection.
SiD is South Africa’s favorite online and mobile payment alternative to a credit card. By adding SiD as an additional payment option on your website, you’ll be able to reach a vast market of shoppers who:
- don’t want to draw on credit
- have security concerns about paying by credit card
- find the newly imposed 3D secure authentication cumbersome
- don’t even have credit cards
Hundreds of South African e-commerce businesses experience far-reaching benefits by offering SiD Secure EFT as a payment method on their websites. Using SiD, these merchants reach the widest market of online and mobile shoppers, at competitive rates, with lower levels of risk.
As such, using SiD Payments comes with the following distinct benefits:
- Online payments received with SiD are 100% guaranteed to you as they are irreversible.
- Increase your online sales by up to 25% by offering a payment alternative to a credit card.
- Payments received with SiD are deposited directly into your bank account in real time.
- You’ll be able to save on transaction fees as SiD payments are charged at a low 1.5%.
- SiD payments are made directly into your business or personal bank account.
- SiD Payment allows you to eliminate the risk of chargebacks and fraud.
- Reduce cart abandonment for online EFT payment with the simple SiD payment process.
- No more waiting for customers to send through proof of payment, so you can fill orders faster.
PayGenius is the safest and easiest solution to receive payments online. PayGenius offers flexible solutions for all types of merchants while providing your customers with a guarantee of trust and security when processing their payments.
PayGenius also enables you to keep track of the online, mobile and PoS payments you receive and to store them in a safe and convenient dashboard.
PayGenius acts as a third party by storing and encrypting your client’s bank details and processing payments for you in an easy, fast and safe way.
All PayGenius payment services are encrypted via an SSL certificate provided by Thawte. PayGenius is also a PCI-compliant gateway complying with the most stringent standards in the industry required by all major banks.
To protect you, PayGenius is forcing 3D-secure transactions for each transaction, whether by credit card or instant EFT. With 3D-secure, the customer must validate the transaction using the OTP sent by the bank to his cell phone number.
There are no registration or set-up costs. Registration and set-up of the payment gateway are free. PayGenius only charges a marginal percentage of the payments you receive.
There are no fixed costs, no monthly fees, and no minimum period commitment. Merchants only pay according to the volume of transactions processed via PayGenius.
PayGenius is a value-added service provider. As a merchant, the only cost you need to pay is a marginal percentage on the transactions processed via PayGenius.
A payment gateway is the gatekeeper of your customer’s payment data. For online merchants, a payment gateway relays the information from you, the merchant, to the acquirer and the issuing bank using data encryption to keep unwanted threats away from the sensitive card data.
Aside from fraud management, a payment gateway also protects merchants from expired cards, insufficient funds, closed accounts or exceeding credit limits.
As an e-commerce business owner, payment gateways are the means by which you receive your business’s income. When you understand how they work, it helps you to make the best decisions for your business and for your customers. A payment gateway authorizes the transfer of funds between buyers and sellers. It allows your e-commerce site to request money from a customer’s bank for products or services that they have purchased.
Assuming it is approved, the payment is then securely transferred to your bank.
In other words, a payment gateway is simply a software application. It’s basically a conduit between an eCommerce website and the bank that authorizes (or declines) a customer’s credit card payment. Credit and debit cards, eCheck (ACH), and even cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are all processed through payment gateways. Ultimately, a payment gateway is the final step of the sales process on an eCommerce website. Without it you won’t be able to securely charge your customers when they purchase items from your website.
Payment gateway services are required for all online credit card processing. It’s the same exact process as a point of service (POS) device does when you pay for your lunch at restaurant. The Payment gateways works with your purchase items from a brick-and-mortar retailer. So, the main role of a payment gateway is to authorize transactions between you and your customers. When setting up a payment gateway on your own eCommerce site, you will need to make several decisions. Two of the most important revolve around the type of merchant account you choose and ensuring that your customers’ payments are secure.
An SSL ensures that when you send payment details to the payment gateway, they are encrypted and secure. Make sure that your website development company can provide an SSL certificate for your full site – not just your shopping cart. Further, display your SSL badge or logo on your site and specifically at check-out – see the Takealot example below. Assure the customer that their details are safe.
All e-commerce transactions are essentially card-not-present payments, and must therefore make use of 3D Secure. This protects the customer from credit card fraud by asking them to submit a one-time PIN or password during checkout. There is not much to do on the merchant’s side, just be aware of this process and ensure your chosen partners use this method as it cuts down drastically on fraud.
It takes time and effort to set up your own merchant account and you will be paying a set-up fee and monthly fees. Using the payment gateway’s merchant account will save you time and money, but you will probably be paying higher individual transaction fees. You may find it makes sense to use the joint account if you are a small start-up with fewer transactions. As your business grows, consider setting up your own merchant account, but do the calculations to determine the best option for your business.
By definition, there is a delay between when payments go into a merchant account and when you actually receive it in your business account. The delay will vary depending on your choices of payment gateway and merchant account option. Make sure you know exactly what to expect so you can allow for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which payment gateway is the best in South Africa?
See this list and info about the 10 Best Payment Gateways in South Africa.
What is a payment gateway?
It is an online payment service integrated with an e-commerce platform, devised as the channel through which payments are made and received.
What protection is there for a merchant in a payment gateway?
The merchant is protected from insufficient funds, expired cards, exceeding credit limits, closed accounts and fraud.
What type of fees is applicable for the merchant in a payment gateway?
You can expect to pay a set-up fee, monthly fees, and transaction fees.
What is the function of an SSL?
SSL means that when you as a customer send your payment details to the payment gateway, they are encrypted and secure.
Featured SA Shares Writer and Forex Analyst.