Payment gateways have changed how we shop and how we pay and receive money in our bank accounts. Ecommerce depends on payment gateways to protect customer information via encryption and to improve the checkout and payment experience.

The software acts as the gatekeeper for customer’s payment data and relays payment information for merchants. Payment gateways are designed to protect customers and merchants from fraud, expired banking cards, insufficient funds, closed accounts and exceeding limits.

Best payment gateways for Africa

The best payment gateways for individuals and businesses in Africa offer users sophisticated security, fraud protection, cost savings, convenience, a user-friendly interface and they must be compatible with multiple commerce platforms and payment methods.

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Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay makes it simple for hundreds of millions of customers around the globe to pay for products and services using the information already stored in their Amazon accounts. To make a payment, you can use any of the payment methods in your Amazon account.

What does it cost to use Amazon Pay?

Amazon Pay adds no fees to your transaction with sites and organizations accepting Amazon Pay. Your purchase incurs no transaction fee, no membership fee, no currency conversion fee, no foreign transaction fee, and no other fees. However, your card issuer will add a foreign transaction fee if your card was issued in a country different from the merchant’s as well as any other fees described in the terms and conditions for your card.

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Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service provided by Apple Inc. that allows users to make payments in person, in iOS apps and on the web using Safari. Apple Pay is supported on the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac.

What does it cost to use Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a digital wallet that you use to make payments by linking your existing credit/debit cards. Apple does not charge any fees for Apple Pay.

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Google Pay

Google Pay is a fast, simple way to pay online or make contactless payments with your smartphone. Google Pay is a digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by Google to power in-app, online and in-person contactless purchases on mobile devices. Google Pay enables users to make payments with Android phones, tablets or smartwatches.

How much does it cost to use Google Pay?

Google Pay is a free mobile app available in the Google Play Store. Customers don’t pay extra transaction fees when they use Google Pay to make purchases.

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Netcash

Netcash is a market-leading payment solutions provider to businesses and organizations in South Africa. Netcash specialises in debit card collections, salary payments, creditor payments, billing, payment requests and ecommerce.

How much does it cost to use NetCash?

Netcash charge a R450 setup fee, with a R160 per month retainer. Netcash charges R1 per transaction, plus 5% of the transaction value.

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PayFast

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.

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 store’s checkout process.

How much does it cost to use PayFast?

PayFast does not charge a monthly fee, only a per-transaction fee.

To receive funds, PayFast charges a minimum of 2% on an Instant EFT and PayFast Voucher transaction.

For credit card transactions, PayFast charges 4.9% of the transaction plus an extra R2, and 7% of the transaction amount on a Ukash transaction.

Payouts cost R8,77 and all selling tools offered by PayFast are free to use.

PayFast accepts payments from South African clients; by credit card and by Ukash clients from all over the world.

What is Ukash?

Ukash was a UK-based electronic money system that allowed users to exchange their cash for a secure code to make payments online. It was acquired by Skrill Group in April 2014 and merged into Austrian competitor paysafecard which was acquired by Skrill a year earlier.

Did you know?

PayFast was acquired by DPO Group in 2019. The Group is the leading payment service provider (PSP) in Africa. The merger PayFast/DPO merger was a significant milestone for PayFast and for the payments and ecommerce industries in South Africa.

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Payflex

Payflex is an innovative “buy now, pay later” eCommerce payment solution that allows consumers to break up the cost of their purchase into four payments. They receive their goods upfront, but they are able to pay for it in instalments every two weeks, interest-free with no hidden costs.

PayFlex brought the best of the Buy-Now Pay-Later (BNPL) payment systems to South Africa which can be added to eCommerce stores. Payflex integrates with Spotify and can be used to safely and securely accept online credit and debit card payments.

How much does it cost to use PayFlex?

Payflex allows customers to split the cost of the purchase up into 4 equal, interest- and fee-free payments. When checking out the customer completes a quick form and is instantly vetted. Upon approval, they pay the first 25% of their purchase as a deposit, using their credit or debit card.

Payflex then collects the other 75% in three instalments over the next six weeks.

Payflex pays the merchant upfront less a commission fee.

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PayGate

PayGate is a leading payment service provider in Africa that operates under DPO South Africa. The payment gateway allows customers and businesses across the continent to accept payments online with all currencies and payment methods. This includes all major debit and credit cards, mobile money and e-wallets.

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.

DPO South Africa is the local entity of the DPO Group, and is a popular choice for businesses in South Africa to process online payments.

How much does it cost to use PayGate?

PayGate charges a flat 3.5% on all successful transactions

Did you know?

DPO South Africa was founded in 1999 as PayGate and quickly became one of the leading Payment Service Providers (PSP) in South Africa. PayGate merged into the DPO Group in 2016 to become part of the biggest Payment Service Provider in Africa. The company acquired PayFast in 2019. The company provides innovative, secure and reliable payment solutions to tens of thousands of merchants including most of South Africa’s largest e-commerce companies.

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PayGenius

PayGenius is a payment gateway platform that provides innovative B2B solutions that enable businesses worldwide to process secure payments online. PayGenius has expertise in payment switching services, integration services, e-commerce & mobile application development, UI/UX Design and BI and analytics. All PayGenius payment services are encrypted via an SSL certificate provided by Thawte.

How much does it cost to use PayGenius?

There are no registration or set-up costs when you sign up with PayGenius. 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.

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PayPal

PayPal Holdings is an American company operating a global online payments system in the majority of countries that support online money transfers. PayPal serves as an electronic alternative to traditional money transfer and payment methods. With PayPal you can send, spend and manage your money with just one account on multiple devices.

PayPal opened its service to customers in South Africa through a partnership with FNB. It has received approval from the Exchange Control Department of the South African Reserve Bank.

How much does it cost to use PayPal?

It’s free to open a PayPal account and buy something using PayPal unless it involves a currency conversion. Fees for cross-border transactions may apply. PayPal’s exchanges rates may be applied to currency conversions.

PayPal charges a flat 2.4% to 3.4% on all successful transactions, plus $0.30 USD.

PayPal is not popular with South Africans because it charges in $ USD and other major world currencies but not in ZAR.

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Paystack

Paystack helps businesses in Africa get paid by anyone, anywhere in the world. Paystack allows businesses registered in Africa to accept payments from global customers. Paystack automatically routes payments through the most optimal channels to ensure the highest transaction success rates in the market.

Paystack is an easy and reliable way to accept payments across multiple channels, use payment pages to run online campaigns for your products and services without writing code, with an option to run your subscription business with ease.

How much does it cost to use Paystack?

Paystack charges a flat 1.5% for all successful transactions within Africa and 3.9% for International transactions

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PayU

PayU provides payment technology to online merchants. PayU allows online businesses in Africa to accept and process payments through payment methods that can be integrated with web and mobile applications.

The PayU service comes with easy integration, which simply involves adding a new payment method to the payment page. Convenience and security is provided as merchants don’t have to process card details thanks to PayU’s token cards. The digital tokens are securely stored in the company’s PCI-DSS level 1 compliant secure vault.

How much does it cost to use UPay?

PayU charges flat 2% + GST (18%) for each successful transaction

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Peach Payments

Peach Payments is a South African-based payment gateway that facilitates seamless and secure online payments. It’s trusted by customers and merchants in Africa to provide easy ecommerce integrations and personalised multi-channel support. Peach Payments currently powers online businesses in South Africa and Mauritius, and will soon be launching services in Kenya, Nigeria and more countries in Africa.

Peach PaySafe is ideal for businesses in Africa that are not online but still want an online payment facility. SMEs such as freelancers, professionals and tour operators can simply email clients who will be able to click and pay online. No integration is required, the service is safe and easy, and merchants can customise it with their logo.

Peach Payments integrates with all major ecommerce platforms including WooCommerce, Shopify, Wix, Magento and PrestaShop.

How much does it cost to use Peach Payments?

Peach Payments charges no monthly fees. Peach Payments charges a flat 2.95% on all successful transactions plus R1.50 per card transaction for local transactions.

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SnapScan

SnapScan is an app that lets you pay with your phone in a snap. It was launched by Standard Bank in 2013 and was one of the first mobile payment apps in South Africa. SnapScan is a contactless mobile payment solution that makes it easy and safe to pay and receive payments in a store, online, at home and on the go. A SnapScan Wallet functions like a digital bank account that you can use to send and receive money.

SnapScan integrates seamlessly into a number of point-of-sale systems for quick, convenient and totally safe mobile payments. Merchants can display their SnapCode anywhere they want to accept mobile payments, and will automatically receive confirmation of payment via SMS.

How much does it cost to use SnapScan?

It’s free to sign up with SnapScan and there are no monthly fees. SnapScan is free for customers to use and it works with any South African bank and most international credit cards.

Merchants only pay as they earn. The starting rate is a flat 2.95% (excl. VAT). The transaction fee is based on a merchant’s previous month’s SnapScan turnover and will decrease as the business grows. Therefore, the fee is refreshed each month.

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Skrill

Skrill is a UK-based eCommerce payment platform that offers a secure, fast and convenient way to make payments, receive payments, shop online and transfer money. Skrill offers a digital wallet that is designed for both consumers and business merchants.

The fintech company operates in more than 120 countries and the digital wallet is offered in 40 different currencies. Skrill is available to clients with residence in South Africa.

Skrill supports in-app payments, integrates with third-party shopping cards and hosts payment pages. Skrill’s payment gateway has been integrated by a number of global online brands such as Facebook, Skype and eBay.

How much does it cost to use Skrill

Skrill charges a flat fee of 1.9% on all successful transactions.

Skrill transactions are free for paying a merchant directly from your Skrill wallet, receiving money in your Skrill account and sending money to an international bank account with Skrill Money Transfer.

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Yoco

Yoco is a payment gateway plugin that makes it simple for merchants to process ecommerce sales. It’s popular among small businesses in South Africa because you can buy the handheld card machine device for a reasonable price, it’s portable and easy to use, and it does away with handling cash.

Yoco integrates with users’ WordPress stores so merchants can track their in-store and online purchases in one place. Every sale made – online or with the Yoco card machine – is recorded in the merchant Business Portal. The Yoco Business Portal is available completely free for anyone using Yoco, and all the information remains readily accessible.

Users can change a price, add and remove products, and manage staff access according to roles and responsibilities. The Yoko Business Portal is cloud integrated for access to sales data from all staff members and Yoco card machines in real time, from any location.

How much does it cost to use Yoco?

Yoko charges a small percentage fee on each transaction. As your turnover grows, your fees drop automatically. After 3 months of using Yoco payments, Yoco automatically lowers transaction fees based on your latest transaction volumes. Once your fees go down, they never go up again.

There are no contracts, no monthly fees, no rent and no minimum transaction fee. You can buy a Yoco machine for between R399-R499, once-off. Yoco doesn’t charge a fee on transaction under R50.

Yoco card machine fees are between 2.6% – 2.95% (ex. VAT) on all successful transactions.

Yoco online fees are between 3.05% – 3.45% (ex. VAT) on all successful transactions.

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Zapper

Zapper is a free ‘scan to pay’ app that makes payments convenient and secure for individual users and merchants. The way Zapper works is the payment app stores credit and debit card details through secure encryption on a buyer’s phone. During checkout, the buyer simply selects Zapper as their payment method and scans the QR code displayed on the screen with their smartphone. Once the payment is processed, it will instantly reflect in your account.

Individual users can use Zapper to pay at your favourite shops and restaurants, split bills, purchase online, donate to charities or fill up with fuel. Users also get rewarded when you spend. Access vouchers and loyalty cards that are freely available for download within the app. Merchants can activate Zapper as a payment option which allows their customers to make online payments by simply scanning a QR code with their smartphone.

How much does it cost to use Zapper?

Zapper charges individuals a flat fee of 2,9% on all successful transactions.

Zapper charges businesses a flat fee of 2.2& on all successful transactions.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is software technology that enables merchants to accept payments from their customers in a fast, secure and convenient way. Payment gateways are used for online transactions, to verify and accept (or decline) direct payments or credit card processing on behalf of users with secure Internet connections.

Payment gateway platforms use special encryption and verification technology to ensure transactions are legitimate and transactions are securely transmitted between customers and merchants.

Why you need a payment gateway for ecommerce in Africa?

Ecommerce payment gateways allow individual users and merchants to safely transfer money for online transactions. They also improve the checkout experience by making payments a seamless process. Payment gateways use sophisticated technology to secure online payments and money transfers, and this gives customers and merchants peace of mind that payments will be processed safely and securely.

Payment gateways are basically a software application developed by fintech companies. They act as a pathway or gateway between an ecommerce website and the bank that authorises or declines a customer’s credit card payment. Payment gateways even process cryptocurrency transactions such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Payment gateways also allow users to pay and receive money from other payment wallets, and not just from debit and credit cards or EFTs.

How does a payment gateway work?

Payment gateways authorise – or decline – the transfer of funds between buyers and sellers. An ecommerce site requests money from a customer’s bank account for products or services. If the transaction is approved, the payment is securely transferred to the merchant’s bank account.

Ecommerce transactions make use of 3D Secure which protects customers from online and credit card fraud. Customers must submit a one-time PIN or password at the checkout point.

How to choose the best online payment gateway?

Payment gateways are designed to offer a secure, easy-to-use and convenient payment solution for individuals and businesses. With this in mind, there are a few questions to ask yourself before choosing a payment gateway for your private or commercial use.

What is DPO Group?

DPO Group was founded in 2006 and is the leading payment service provider (PSP) in Africa. The fintech company developed advanced software technology that enables businesses and individuals across the continent to accept payments online and offline with all currencies and payment methods, including all major cards, mobile money and e-wallets.

DPO Group currently works with over 100 000 merchants, and holds PCI DSS Level 1 certification. The Group has made a series of strategic acquisitions including PayGate in 2016 and PayFast in 2019. These two payment gateways are the most prominent PSPs in South Africa.

DPO Group is used by merchants throughout Africa for payment processing, reporting, fraud detection and fraud protection. DPO South Africa is the local entity of the DPO Group and is regarded as the best choice for businesses in South Africa for online payment solutions.

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