Payment Gateways South Africa - Which Platform is Best for Your eCommerce or Website Solution

Payment Gateways in South Africa – Which Platform is Best for Your eCommerce Store?

PAYMENT GATEWAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The payment gateways featured below have been reviewed by Marketing Channel and are our top recommendations for this technology category.

Which Payment Gateway is Best for Your eCommerce Store?

I think you will agree with me that finding the best payment gateway in South Africa can be a daunting task.

However, using an established payment gateway is almost always better than trying to find your own solution because when a transaction takes place, the checkout process happens away from your site and goes to the providers site.

This means you do not have to be too concerned about your site being hacked and the personal and financial information of your customers being stolen.

Security is always a major concern, so before you choose your payment gateway, be sure to choose an eCommerce platform that integrates well with your chosen payment gateway.

The first big decision you will have to take is, will you go for a payment gateway that requires you to have a registered Internet merchant account with a South African bank or will you go for one that does not require you to register.

Setting up an Internet merchants account with your bank can sometimes be a lengthy process and in some cases the bank first wants to see your completed eCommerce website before giving you the account facility. This is not ideal if you are in a hurry to get up and running.

For smaller vendors that want to get started quickly and avoid monthly charges, the non merchants account options are usually better.

Larger vendors will benefit more from having an Internet merchants account with their bank, and will in most cases find the overall payment gateway fees to work out less costly, depending on transaction volumes. 

To assist you with making the right decision right from the start, I have analysed the various payment gateways based on the key considerations that every new eCommerce entrepreneur needs to evaluate.

In the reviews below, you will find each payment gateway evaluated against the following criteria:

Do you need an Internet merchants account from your bank to get started?
What are the setup fees prior to launch?
What are the transaction fees related to each transaction?
What types of payments services do they provide?

The list of payment gateway providers below are what we consider to be the best options for each category.

Best for startups - PayFast
Best for EFT - i-Pay
Best for range of services - PayGate
Best for larger e-commerce store functionality - MyGate
Best for easy international payments - PayPal
Best for large volumes of transactions - PayU
Best integrated solution - sage Pay
Best for ease of usability - peach payments

Before you build your eCommerce store, you should consider taking a free 14 day trial with Shopify, most of the top South African payment gateways are supported by them and the support and additional plug-ins are the best on the market. Plus you can build the entire store yourself.

Pricing Notice

Fees are known to fluctuate. However, the reviews are continuously updated to bring you access to the latest pricing available.

PayFast

PayFast Payment Gateway

PayFast is in my experience the easiest payment gateway to get started with. The reason for this recommendation is that you do not need to have an Internet merchants account to get started. Once you sign up for PayFast, you can immediately start accepting bank transfers from your website.

The process for accepting credit cards and other forms of payment is also quite simple. You just need to do a short business verification and then you are all set. 

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - No
What are the setup fees? - Free
What are the monthly fees? - Nil
How much are the transaction fees?

Payout fee to bank accountR 8.77
Receiving funds
Instant EFT2.0% (minimum R2.00)
Credit & cheque cards3.9% (plus R2.00)
MasterPass3.9% (plus R2.00)
Debit cards3.9% (plus R2.00)
Bitcoin1.9%
mobicred3.5%

Which payment services and methods do they offer? - Recurring billing, credit & cheque cards, Instant EFT, Bitcoin, mobicred, ATM debit cards and Masterpass
What else should you know? - PayFast has a vast array of app and platform integration tools and the ability to request payment via email.

PayGate

Paygate Payment Gateway

PayGate is one of South Africa's first payment gateways. The company started in 1996 and their solution can be found on many websites in the country. Originally their services were more focused to cater for larger eCommerce vendors but they have made big strides towards catering for startup vendors with the introduction of their PAYCOLLECT offering, which does not require a bank Internet merchants account.

The company places a huge focus on making life easier for eCommerce developers. Their developer resources include API documentation and instructions for setting up shopping carts and eCommerce platforms. These cart and platforms include Zen Cart, OSCommerce, CS Cart, Magento, VirtueMart, WordPress eCommerce, WooCommerce, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Shopify and other.

In addition logo packs with the PayGate logos, bank required Card Association logos and payment method logos are also available for quick inclusion into sites.

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - Yes, except for the PayCollect option
What are the setup fees? - ranges from R0 to R200 once off activation fee
What are the monthly fees? - ranges from R0 to R450 per month
How much are the transaction fees? - Please note the fees below exclude the bank merchant acquiring fees, charged separately by the bank to the merchant

PayGate Pricing

Which payment services and methods do they offer? - Credit and debit card payments, including, American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa. In addition PayGate also offer Zapper Scan to Pay, PayPal integration, MasterPass, SiD Instant EFT, PaySum1 (for international payments), SCode and Visa Checkout.
What else should you know? - PayGate offers a vast additional range of payment solution products, well worth checking out.

MyGate

MyGate Payment Gateway

MyGate provides a wide range of processing and payment methods including global credit card payments, SiD Instant EFT and Visa Checkout. Options are also available for recurring billing and "card not present" manual payment processing for mail order and call centre payment processing.

MyGate has a fast growing African footprint and their services are available in South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles and Ghana. 

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - Yes
What are the setup fees? - R250
What are the monthly fees? - R290 to R875 per month
How much are the transaction fees? - R1.60 to R1.80 with volume discount available

mygate pricing

Which payment services and methods do they offer? - Online credit card payments, recurring payments and MOTO (direct mail & call centre), using Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club.
What else should you know? - Excellent mobile transacting platforms and fraud prevention systems.

i-Pay

i-Pay Payment Gateway

 i-Pay is a relatively new South African payment gateway but it has some really exciting payment processes that speed up transactions via easy mobile integrated payment verification methods.

I have noticed that many companies that prefer to have a payment option directly from their invoices, are moving over to i-Pay.

Their transaction fees are also nice and low, so this is definitely an option to consider. In addition, they also claim to be the fastest payment method available.

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - No
What are the setup fees? - Free
What are the monthly fees? - Nil
How much are the transaction fees? - 2.5% going down to 1.5% depending on volume
Which payment services and methods do they offer? - Instant EFT using the top 6 South African major banks
What else should you know? - works with most major eCommerce platforms including, woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, Prestashop, BigCommerce and Virtuemart


PayU

PayU is well established South African payment gateway and part of the Naspers Group, who have during 2017 pumped a R1billion investment into Takealot.

PayU services an impressive 1500 plus eCommerce websites in South Africa and offers more than 25 different payment methods.

With more than R9billion rands worth of transaction processed each year, the company is the largest payment gateway in South Africa.

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - No
What are the fees? PayU fees are not openly available and you will need to find out from them directly.
Which payment services and methods do they offer? - Instant EFT, cheque card and credit cards amongst others.
 
PayU supports all South African banks and you can accept Visa and Mastercard payments irrespective from where in the world the cards have been issued.

What else should you know? PayU has forged partnerships with Lulalend, a leading merchant financing company to assist eCommerce store owners with obtaining finance, and Mobicred, a consumer credit provider, which means your eCommerce store clients can purchase on credit from you, using their Mobicred credit facility. 

peach payments

Peach payments is a relatively new South African payment gateway and has grown in leaps and bounds since 2012 when the company first launched their payment processing solution.  

The key strengths of peach payments are the easy usability of the platform inside their dashboard and the good support they provide, together with easy integration into WooCommerce.

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - Yes
What are the setup fees? R250 when creating your account
What are the monthly fees? R300
How much are the transaction fees? R1.50 for less then 3000 transactions, R1.25 for between 3000 and 7999 transactions and R1.10 per transaction for 8000 and above.

Which payment services and methods do they offer? - SID instant EFT, cheque card, credit cards, one click subscription, invoice collection and more.

What else should you know? Their payment processing services combine with PayPal for international payments and their e-billing stand alone platform is supported by PaySafe.

sage Pay

Sage Pay might be an interesting option for people who are already familiar with the Sage accounting products like Sage One, Sage X3 and Sage Live.

What makes it really interesting is that their service is offered as a turnkey solution through their suite of integrated Sage Online Tools.

In short this means that they will build you your eCommerce store and all their other services them come bundled within the store.

The video below explains in detail how the Sage product offering works.

PayPal

PayPal Payment Gateway

PayPal is an international payment gateway servicing more than 200 countries and more than 25 currencies.

In South Africa, PayPal checkout happens in US$. It is a useful additional payment gateway to offer your customers. Especially if you are intending to sell internationally and do not want to deal with the hassle of foreign credit cards. Payments transactions can be via your website or with online invoicing.

Opening a business account with PayPal is fairly simple and you can immediately start taking payments. Simply setup a PayPal customised payment button for your site or use PayPal's, Express Checkout solution, that is well optimised for mobile payments too. You will need to verify your credit card account with PayPal before you exceed more than $2000 worth of transactions.

PayPal has partnered with FNB to allow the transfer of funds, into and out of, your PayPal accounts. If you take payments via PayPal, you will need to transfer the funds into your FNB account within 30 days. FNB in turn provides mechanisms to transfer these monies into other local bank accounts should you require.

The primary reason why PayPal can be useful to South African eCommerce websites, is that it is well recognised, and accepted as very secure, across the world. 
 

Quick evaluation:

Is an Internet merchants account needed? - No
What are the setup fees? - Nil
What are the monthly fees? - Nil
How much are the transaction fees? - 2.4% to 3.4% plus $0.30 per transaction
Which payment services and methods do they offer? - PayPal account holder payments as well as credit and debit cards
What else should you know? - Online invoice payments and recurring billing are additional options and easy to use.


If you are starting a new eCommerce store, you may also want to read more about courier and fulfillment services.

Leon Swartz

Leon Swartz is the CEO of FRONTPAGE Media and a professional Digital Marketer. He has been in the media industry since 1994, when he started his first publishing company. He is the publisher of over 150 business books, directories and consumer publications. During the past 12 years, Leon has established and proven himself in the fields of digital marketing, website strategy, lead generation, inbound marketing, product design, product positioning, branding, promotional marketing, creative concepts, copywriting and growth consulting. In addition, Leon has been the founder and CEO of various successful South African media businesses.

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claire - July 12, 2017

I think we need to add PayU to this article 🙂

Reply
Jeremy - August 21, 2017

Thanks for the article! well written and very informative.

Reply
How to Start a Business in South Africa - Marketing Channel - October 12, 2017

[…] are several payment gateways in South Africa that you can use to get direct online payment or to use on your website or eCommerce store.PayPal […]

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Linda Nobetsiki - October 18, 2017

thank you this is very helpful

Reply
Blake - November 2, 2017

Thanks Leon

I’ve gone with Payfast for now…

Reply
Winston de Wit - December 20, 2017

Greetings

I have launched a Shopify store today. I was planning on operating in the US since I feel it is a more profitable market. However I don’t know how payments will work. I did have payfast as my gateway but i quickly realised it is integrated for south African consumers only. Reason being the currency used for purchasing under payfast is ZAR. In addition I feel US customers wont pay in rands since most of them wont even know about our currency.

In conclusion is there a payment gateway or even a way to allow US customers to pay in dollars and then allow the revenue made in dollars to convert to rand, which will finally result in the money being paid in rand to my South African bank account. or do I need a US based account.

Reply
    Leon Swartz - January 15, 2018

    Yes, Paypal should work for you.

    Reply
Manfred Levesque - February 13, 2018

Hi guys,

PayGenius definitely needs to be added here 🙂

Who can I speak with please?

Thanks,
Mannie

Reply
    Leon Swartz - February 27, 2018

    Thanks Mannie, we will look into PayGenius for future updates.

    Reply
Konrad - February 19, 2018

Don’t forget Ecentric payment Systems. You pay zero payment gateway fee’s for card transactions if you bank with Standard Bank.

Reply
    Leon Swartz - February 27, 2018

    Thank you, we will look into Ecentric Payment Systems for future updates.

    Reply
Ehren Ransley Bhimsan - March 29, 2018

How would i go about getting customers to pay on my website directly without having to transfer to another merchant ?

Reply
    Leon Swartz - April 1, 2018

    If you use a payment gateway, your clients will be transferred to their site and the redirected back after payment. This helps protect you and your customers against their details being stolen. Your other alternatives are to build your own payment processing system within your site. Or perhaps looking for plug-ins that help do direct EFT into your account.

    Reply
JOhn - May 2, 2018

I have registered my business in SA also my bank Account is opened. Now i need to take payments from my customers in Canada Australia usa and Uk. How do i do that?

Reply
Darryl Viljoen - May 23, 2018

Which payment gateway accommodates for ZAR, USD, AUSD, £,€?

Reply
Andrew Pillay - August 7, 2018

Hiya Leon,

Great article – thank you for keeping Peach Payments in mind!

As a payment service provider to leading SA based eCommerce giants, some of our key features include same page checkout (no redirects to another page to make payment), single click and subscription/recurring billing, integrated mobile payment (no redirects) and a multitude of other solutions, including Plugin Integrations to Magento, Prestashop, WooCommerce, Opencart and Shopify – we also offer incredibly simple custom RESTAPI integrations!

Recently we have added Multi-Currency support allowing clients to bill foreign transactions in their native currency – Please feel free to add this to our profile 😉

Happy to entertain any questions,

Thanks!
Andrew@Peach Payments

Reply
    Andre Grobler - August 28, 2018

    Hi Andrew

    I started an online Shpify dropshipping store in South Africa and will mainly target international customers so I use Paypal Express as a payment option. They dont support ZAR so my base currency on my site is in USD.

    But now I cant offer Payfast as another option for local South Africans as it requires the base currency to be in ZAR.

    Is there a way to integrate a local payment gateway wit Paypal so that the customer is presented with a checkout in his own currency? And the rest of the bureaucracy happens in the background?

    Does Peach Pay offer a possible solution to this dilemma for local online stores wishing to trade internationally as well?

    Please advise,

    Andre

    Reply
    Paul Penzhorn - September 19, 2018

    Hi Andrew,

    Can you contact me @ paulp@africam.com

    We are looking for an international solution for Credit Cards.

    Reply
Paul Penzhorn - September 19, 2018

Hi Leon,

We use PayPal for our subscription service but the process is not slick.

We need a solution that accepts Credit Cards, PayPal etc internationally as most of our customers are US and Europe.

What would be the best solution that allows payment from international clients (recurring) and is slick?

regards,

Paul

Reply
How To Start An Online Store In South Africa - Marketing Channel - October 25, 2018

[…] with top South African payment gateways including Payfast and […]

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