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8 Min. Read

8 Online Payment Methods in South Africa

8 Online Payment Methods

Many customers have expectations when it comes to the online payment options on your website’s checkout page. And those expectations are rising.

So, how can you enhance your payment process to better serve your customers? And how can you lower your rate of online shopping cart abandonment, thus increasing sales?

The answer may lie in the ability to offer your clients a wide range of payment methods. This is one of the finest ways to satisfy the growing demands of your customer base. 

Read on as we take a look at 8 popular online payment methods available in South Africa. 

Table of Contents

Credit Cards

Loyalty Cards



Bank Transfer

Direct Debit


Prepaid Cards

Key Takeaways

Frequently Asked Questions

Credit Cards

Let’s start with one of the most straightforward of South Africa’s popular payment methods. A bank or financial services firm can issue a traditional credit card. This enables cardholders to borrow money to pay for products and services at businesses that accept credit cards.

Customers of credit cards must repay any amount outstanding along with any relevant interest. They must also pay any other agreed-upon fees—whether paid in full before the billing date or over time.

One of the key advantages of utilising credit cards for online purchases is the security you get. As long as you promptly report the loss or theft, most credit card companies will reimburse you up to a certain limit. Though the rules regarding this will vary depending on the provider. 

Note that using a credit card for payment is essentially borrowing money for a short period of time. So, you’ll have to pay interest on the money you spend. You may calculate your annual percentage rate (APR) using the interest rate. 

Also, keep in mind any fees levied by the credit card company. The expense of carrying a balance from month to month increases with the card’s APR.

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Loyalty Cards

A business issues a loyalty card to a customer at the place of business. The card is then provided by the customer each time they make a purchase. Points, money, or an advance are then added to the card. (In this case, it depends on what rewards the business pre-defined.) 

The software automatically calculates the incentives without the need for any time-consuming tasks. And only a few actions are necessary to record the client’s visit or purchase.

One of the benefits of having a loyalty system is that merchants may gather vital cardholder demographic data. This includes people’s names, addresses and other details. This data helps the merchant create a database of opt-in consumers who can be periodically and directly marketed to.

The merchant can follow the purchasing habits of its customers and provide them with personalised offers. The programmes might aid in promoting special occasions, holidays, and calm weekdays.


With over 254 million users worldwide, PayPal is one of the most popular payment methods today, along with credit and debit cards. It is great for online shopping.

PayPal is an eCommerce payment processing business owned by eBay. It enables customers to create an account and pay a charge for each cash transaction.

PayPal is quick, easy to use, and has a high level of security in the eyes of online shoppers. This means many clients prefer to utilise it for their payment transactions. Payment insurance is one of PayPal’s key advantages. So, you have a chance to get your money back if you lose money as a result of a scam or fraud.

Keep in mind that different rules and costs apply. These rules often depend on the selected currency and the volume of the transaction. But if there is no currency transaction, Paypal is completely free to use.


Masterpass is a digital wallet service provided by Mastercard. It makes online buying secure, simple, and practical. Masterpass keeps your payment and shipping information in a single, secure location. It is then accessed whenever you’re paying online. 

Customers need to go to the AppStore on their device, download the app, and create an account. They can then load their credit, debit, or cheque cards from there. Once they’ve updated their billing and shipping addresses, they can start buying.

Customers who use Masterpass lessen the likelihood of exposure. Their personal information avoids being leaked on potentially hazardous networks. This serves to reassure them that the transaction will be secure and protected, with fewer chances of fraud or theft.

Bank Transfer

Not everyone owns a credit card. But you can speculate that the majority of your customers have a bank account where they keep their money. And while internet purchasing is at an all-time high, many still worry about security when providing card information.

There is one key advantage to bank transfers. That being that clients can make purchases without disclosing any financial information.

Direct Debit

The most frequent use of direct debit payments is with B2B card transactions. That’s because they enable automatic, recurring payments.

The primary benefit of direct debits is that payment occurs almost immediately. This eliminates the need to wait for clients to settle an unpaid invoice.

Money is simply deducted from one’s account once this method has been established. This helps save your customers the trouble of having to approve payments.

Paying regular bills would work well with this online option. This includes recurring fees like monthly retainers or subscription-based payments.


An e-wallet is an application for mobile devices. It is a type of digital wallet that handles mobile payments. Your passwords and information are securely stored on your mobile wallet. 

Instead of carrying your cards with you while online shopping, a mobile wallet lets you make payments using your device. Your input and save the details of your account. This means that you can use your mobile device to make purchases later on.

E-wallets transport payment information securely from your device to a point of sale. This point of sale is built to read the data and connect via signals using a mobile device’s wireless capabilities. These include Bluetooth, wifi, and magnetic signals.

But what about cryptocurrency’s integration into the banking system? Good news—businesses like Bitpay created cards that enable cryptocurrency payments. You can add a Bitpay debit card to e-wallets. This can include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Amazon Pay, or Google Pay. 

Then, use Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or any other alternative payment methods to pay. And the Bitpay card will convert your cryptocurrencies to dollars at the going rate.

Prepaid Cards

Digital shoppers who do not have access to an account often use prepaid cards.

Prepaid cards, as opposed to gift cards, are a specific kind of card that has been “loaded” with money by a bank or credit card provider. The sum deposited into the card establishes the card’s limit. Once you reach that limit, the card becomes worthless until you add more cash.

Prepaid cards typically have an age restriction of 14 to 16 years old due to this level of control. As a result, no credit check is necessary.

This method is often used by online gaming firms. For example, gamers can make in-game purchases using virtual currency they have stored on prepaid cards.

Key Takeaways

Knowing what online payments to use can be tricky. It is first incredibly important that you know your target audience. 

If you don’t have demographics for your audience, you face the risk of giving your consumers payment choices they don’t like or trust. This could endanger your company’s ability to stay in business.

Overall, the key to increasing your conversion rate is to have several relevant payment options. You want these to also be well-known, popular payment methods. Customers should have the option to pay online for your goods and services in the way that suits both you and them best.

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FAQ on Online Payments

Which Is the Best Payment Method?

In eCommerce, credit cards are the most widely utilised form of payment. Credit cards are often used for online purchases since they are convenient and generally secure.

What Is the Safest Online Payment Method?

Using a credit card to make an online payment is the safest option. Why? Because you’ll have more protection. 

Want a safe alternative? Using online services like PayPal to prevent scammers from obtaining your bank information is also smart. It’s also another of South Africa’s most popular payment methods.

What Are the Advantages of Online Transactions?

Consumers can do their shopping online with safety and ease. And companies can rest assured they are providing that ease and safety. After all, there is a quick process of payment verification with online transaction payment systems.