Accept Online Payments
In the core of any e-commerce business is to get securely paid online and usually in advance. This is essential for any B2C setup, although there are exceptions, such as B2B setups where customers buy on account or setups for ordering online and picking up the order at a physical store, fast food order online and collect (click and collect) are a typical example of the later.
Credit & Debit Card Payments (VISA & MasterCard)
The most common online payment method is the credit / debit card payment. Although there are some variances between industries, typically the regular card payments constitute between 50 and 100% of all payments. Therefore accepting credit / debit card payments on your website is absolutely essential. You can also accept Diners Club and American Express through most card payment integrations, but you may need to sign separate agreements with the respective card companies.
Own Merchant Account vs. Merchant Account-less Card Payments
There are two methods to accept card payments. The first one requires opening your own Merchant Account at one of the major banks. The benefit of this method is that you can choose a merchant bank and you can negotiate your fees with the bank, especially if you have a good relation already with a particular bank. The second one does not require having your own merchant account, but instead the money goes through a shared merchant account held by the payment gateway and then gets distributed to individual merchants, which adds some extra delay to getting the money into your own account.
Another online payment option is Instant EFT. This is an assisted EFT payment, where your payment details are pre-filled for the customer in their internet banking and upon the customer completing the payment, the payment is instantly confirmed by the payment gateway, enabling immediate shipping / delivery of the goods without further delays.
SnapScan & Zapper
Mobile wallets have become somewhat popular in the recent year, scanning a QR code with a mobile app makes it quite easy and convenient to pay without having to take out your card or remember all the details on it. There is a credit card payment typically happening behind a mobile wallet payment, but this is hidden from you, the merchant. This type of payment is more prominent in the food industry, although it can be used for any kind of purchase.
Payment on Credit
MobiCred and PayFlex are examples of payments with a credit component. Customer goes through an approval process and upon being approved successfully for the particular purchase, the transaction is completed successfully. This type of payments are typically used on websites selling relatively high value goods.
All the payment methods mentioned above can be integrated into your website, for all of them payment confirmation is instant.
For start-ups and small businesses on a budget, start with PayFast integration. This gives you access to Credit & Debit Card Payments, Instant EFT, Mobile Wallet and Payment on Credit, all through a single integration, for only R 49.95/month + VAT.
For larger businesses or start-up with bigger budgets, direct integration with multiple payment methods shall be considered. Having own merchant account is also a plus as it often comes with slightly lower transaction fees and faster arrival of the money in your account, comapred to merchant-account-less solutions. You can expect to pay few hunder Rand monthly fee for the merchant account, which is typically removed if your monthly transaction volume is above certain amount.