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How do you select the best payment gateway for your online shop in South Africa?

Does your small business in South Africa have an online shop, or do you plan on having one? Let’s learn more about choosing the best payment gateway for your online shop.

In 2021, Statistica found that credit card was the most popular online payment in South Africa. So, if you’ve got yourself a computer, you are ready to get your business going by selling via your business website. But not so fast - you’ll need a payment gateway to process all the credit card payments. And it will have to be a South African payment gateway if you’ll only sell to the South African market. 

But don’t stress – we’ll show you how to correctly choose a South African payment gateway to avoid customers leaving your online shop before buying what they added to their online shopping carts.

How do you choose the best payment gateway for your small business? 

We thought you'd love to hear from a small business owner in the same position, a small business owner with an online shop. So, we chatted with Jen, owner of Cyrus Farm Health Store, who gave us her thoughts on popular questions about payment gateways.

Read what Jen had to say about payment gateways, including how to choose the best payment gateway. 

What is a payment gateway? 

“It’s a way you are able to set up instant payment options on your website.”

When should small businesses in South Africa use payment gateways? 

“I would say when they grow to a size that is difficult to hand manually.”

What is an example of a payment gateway? 

“The likes of Yoco Gateway is an example of a payment gateway.”

Who uses a payment gateway? 

“Many companies do, once they get to a growth stage that is too difficult to handle manually – your will find a payment selection on a website.”

What is the best payment gateway in South Africa? 

  1. “It depends on your business. I recommend that you do your research. Either start with an e-commerce platform that is reliable and popular, like Shopstar, Shopify, Wix or WordPress (WooCommerce).

  2. "Then, choose a payment gateway that is compatible, reliable and trustworthy and that offers good rates.

  3. "Lastly, don’t forget to look at the customer support and reviews of payment gateway companies as well.”

What is a free payment gateway? 

“I would say that it is a gateway that doesn’t charge the shop owner for transactions, but that doesn’t sound real to me.”

How can someone make their own payment gateway? 

“I don't think most small businesses have the ability or money to make their own payment gateways.

"Some business owners with online shops try to work around the need for a payment gateway. So, for example, they could possibly set up an invoice/payment request action through their mobile card machine services. But that isn't the same as using a proper payment gateway with all of its benefits, and that is the best way.

"It's less admin and makes sure that you get paid before you buy the stock. You don't want to be bankrolling your customers until they decide to pay you and have to chase them to make payments.

"So, in the end, a popular way to go is to integrate an existing payment gateway service into your online shop for the best results."

How much does it cost to set up a payment gateway?

“It depends on what type of website you have and which payment gateway you use.” 

It was insightful to hear what a small business owner had to say about payment gateways. Do you still feel undecided about your next move? Read on to find out more.

Learn more about choosing the best payment gateway for your small business in South Africa

So, what does a payment gateway exactly do? Payment gateway software processes card payments on your website by sending payments to your bank account. The payment gateway provider is a POS (point of sale).

The gateway securely checks the purchaser’s card details, acting as a middleman between the client and your business website. 

Faulty payment gateways cause you to lose sales

Customers leave their online shopping carts during checkout mostly because of website system errors. A good example is when a payment gateway declines the payment even though there’s lots of moolah in the client’s account. Despite the payment gateway causing the glitch, the customer still blames your business for it, which he may no longer trust. 

Why choose the best payment gateway?

It’s all about trust in the digital business. You can't afford to use a faulty payment gateway, so how do you choose one that works every time? The answers are below.

Does your business earn several currencies?

Some payment gateways process various currencies, whereas others only handle ZAR. Provide well-known payment options to make it easy for customers. 

The payment gateway’s security is critical

You need to put your customers' minds at ease. You can't blame some people for being wary and suspicious about making online payments. This is especially true for South Africans, where crime is so prevalent.

According to the recent LexisNexis True Cost of Fraud Study, the costs associated with online fraud have increased by over 40% in South Africa since 2019, which is higher than in countries like Germany and the Netherlands.

An excellent payment gateway won't hassle your customers, but to be safe, check that it complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS). If it does, then the security of their encryption should be fine.

So, why not choose a payment gateway that is well-known and trusted by customers?

Will your provider give you enough support?

Find out if your payment provider is trustworthy to deliver. Can he provide fast 24-hour support should you need it? 

How tech-savvy are you?

Avoid complicated payment gateways that could cause unnecessary costs and delays if you aren't tech-savvy.

Easy integration in your online shop

Good payment gateway providers will ensure that their payment gateways integrate easily with other service providers, such as an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce, and your business's accounting setup. To be stress-free, find a payment provider that makes integration easy for you. 


Give your customers many payments choices

The more they have to choose, the happier customers will be, and fewer will cancel their purchases before paying.

What features does your payment gateway need to have?

Maybe you only need the standard transaction option but check with the provider if you need more.

So, research, starting with checking out your competitors and other local online shops. Also, chat with friends in your industry about their first-hand experiences.

Lastly, talk to payment gateway companies to finalise the best way forward.

What cards can customers use?

Most card transactions will involve Mastercard or VISA but check with the provider if you need more card types. 

How does the payment gateway provider pay you?

Ensure it is automatic and if there are any other costs besides the fees and pricing. 

Choose Yoco Gateway 

To accept card payments on your website, use Yoco’s Gateway, a payment gateway that is 100% free to join, with no monthly fees and no minimum charges on transactions. Also, it could take as little as 5 minutes to set it up. There’s a maximum charge of 2.95% (ex. VAT) per transaction, which decreases with increased sales. You can trust our payment gateway, which has enjoyed 100% uptime since its launch. And no need to worry about security – an advanced 3-D-Secure technology protects all your transactions. 

Yoco Gateway can be added to your Shopify, Shopstar, Wix or WordPress (WooCommerce) websites so you can take your online shop to the next level to grow your business.

Yoco is here for your small business

We have experience in helping to grow 250 000 small businesses in South Africa, so why not contact us today to see how we can do the same for your business?

Sources: How to Choose a South African Payment Gateway, Cyber fraud is reaching new highs in SA – and it's the apps on your phone putting you at risk

Yoco Card Machines and Online Payments

Quiz Question 1

Want to sell in person, online or both?

In person

Online

Both