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Comparing the Best Payment Gateways in South Africa - Which one is best suited for your eCommerce Store?


Comparing the Best Payment Gateways in South Africa - Which one is best suited for your eCommerce Store?

August 4, 2020

Which Payment Gateway Is Best For Your E-Commerce Store?

It's quite a well-known fact that most retail businesses are rapidly moving towards e-commerce. This is due to the increased growth of online stores and their online presence, which has created a niche. People these days need products at their comfort. As a new or existing store, you have probably considered taking your business online. While there are structured means to brand, design, advertise and sell products on the internet, payment gateways are still a challenge. How do get payments products offered? How do you also make payments for services or products you have acquired? As a retail store or any type of store in South Africa, the most important tool is an e-commerce website. This is the governing point of your e-commerce store. Before you acquire a payment gateway, you need to put into consideration two things.

Security and Integration

Security: All transactions generated by an e-commerce website are captured far away from the real business, by a service provider. You need to consider how to secure the connection between your website and the service provider is. This protects your retail store from hacking cases.

Integration; Most payment gateways have requirements that need to be fulfilled, in order to fully integrate with any website. You have to make sure your e-commerce website is compatible with the payment gateway you are picking. In South Africa, many payment options can suit your e-commerce website. Every payment gateway is best suited for specific websites. The most predominant requirement for any gateway is the need for an internet merchant account. This is an account that links your e-commerce website to your bank. However, most payment gateways have scrapped off this requirement, allowing the start-up to register accounts for free.

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.

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, Honeywhale have analysed the various payment gateways based on the key considerations that every new eCommerce entrepreneur needs to evaluate.

Best All-rounder Payment Gateway - PayFlex

Payflex offers a very simple fee structure, with no upfront fees or fees for refunds, failed payments or authorizations. Payflex simply charges a per-transaction fee on successful transactions only. They have Partnership Managers that will communicate and discuss the details with you – their philosophy is to keep it simple and transparent. Payflex works very differently from every other payment gateway as they allow your customers to pay for their items over a period of time in 4 equal payments. This option alone can open so many opportunities for your eCommerce store as opening doors for your customers to have different payment options can only bring in more sales. Payflex has ready-to-go integrations for Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento V1 & V2 and Opencart that will allow you to integrate Payflex into your online store in no time. Payflex also offers a detailed API integration for custom-built websites (For more info visit their developer page).  

Honeywhale highly recommends adding Payflex as one of your payment solutions as it is simple-to-integrate, secure and partnered with many eCommerce platforms. Payflex also gives additional payment options for your customers and is used on large or small South African eCommerce Stores.

So if you would like to add Payflex to your eCommerce store, please complete Payflex's merchant enquiry form or send them an email with your details to Their sales team will then give you a call and get you up and running in as little as a day.

Best for Startups Payment Gateway - PayFast

PayFast is 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. Payfast also does not charge you setup or monthly fees, their guides are very informative so any eCommerce store owner will be able to integrate Payfast into their online store.

Honeywhale highly recommends Payfast for easy and quick setup of a payment gateway for your eCommerce store.

Best for larger e-commerce store functionality - PayGate

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.

You do need a Merchant Account to setup PayGate but luckily they have an option where you can avoid the Mercahnt Account route, the PayCollect option. They also charge a once off activation fee ranging from R0 to R200. PayGate also charge a monthly fee that range from R0 to R450 per month. PayGate is a well-known and established payment gateway, their services are secure and their service is applauded.

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