Payments Industry Player Set To Accelerate E-Commerce Growth in South Africa

South African Payment Gateway provider, MyGate, has repositioned their business to focus on getting South Africa’s growing population of new, inexperienced Internet users to make their first purchase online and on increasing the adoption of online and alternative forms of payment.

The repositioning of the company has been brought on by research that shows that the overall percentage of Internet users shopping online is not keeping up with the rate of growth in total users, which the company regards as both a challenge and an opportunity for them and their merchants.

MasterCard’s 2013 Online Shopping Behaviour Study for South Africa revealed that the number of online shoppers in South Africa grew from 2.1 million in 2012 to 2.3 million in 2013, or by 9.5%. However, the South African online population grew by 17% from 12 million to 14 million over the same period, according to the Digital Media and Marketing Association.

“eCommerce is on the rise in South Africa, but it’s not keeping up with the rate of growth of Internet users,” says Dan Edmiston, MD of MyGate. “According to MasterCard’s 2013 Online Shopping study, security concerns are still a major inhibitor to e-commerce growth with 42% of Internet users surveyed citing security as the main reason for them not shopping online, up by 4% from last year. This is an area we will be addressing as we look at incorporating more visual cues into our payment environment that reassure first time shoppers that they are transacting in a secure PCI compliant environment, as well as raising awareness that credit cards are not the only methods of payments for online transactions.”

MyGate provide its merchants with payment products that enable them to offer their customers alternative methods of payment to online credit card payment, such as debit orders, alternative credit facilities, and payment via EFT.

“We are also working on getting more users to make purchases via their smartphones, as well as increasing the frequency of online payments being made by more experienced users by offering added convenience through products such as 1Click payments, batch payments and mobile payments,” continues Edmiston.

The adoption of smartphones is the major reason cited for the growth in Internet users, with approximately 92% of Internet users owning a smartphone and 80.2% using their smartphones to access the Internet, according to the South African Mobile Report published in March this year.

“Our objective has always been is to help accelerate the growth of e-commerce in South Africa by increasing the number of transactions being processed by MyGate merchants. With our new focus we are specifically working on ways to get inexperienced users to make their first online purchase and getting more experienced users to make more of their payments online,” concludes Edmiston.