Online Payments for Small Business in Africa

September 25, 2019

PayU has launched a simplified solution that enables companies to accept credit card payments by using the provider's merchant account and processing network. CEO Mark Chirnside comments, "Start-ups and SMEs need a quick and simple way to take their business online. This system enables an online business to get up and running, quickly. Once the client has such an account, the company makes e-business simpler, increase sales, cuts paperwork and reduces the risk. The company authorises credit card purchases, processes them and deposits the proceeds into the client's account. It's simple."

This system will assist SMEs to leverage their websites from marketing tools into active, high profit retail sites, engaging with an important and big sector of the market. According to the SME Survey 2012, which is the original representative survey of SMEs in South Africa, conducted by World Wide Worx, 410 000 SMEs in South Africa have a website, representing 63% of active, formal SMEs. The research further shows that SMEs with a website are far more likely to turn a high profit than those without. A significant number of consumers are already online with a steady growth in users. This has a ripple effect as it inevitably translates into more people going online to find services, creating an ever-increasing market for online merchants.

"As reported in the Internet Matters report earlier this year, approximately 150 000 Small to Meduim businesses in South Africa would not be able to survive without their web presence. With the internet becoming the single most important means of searching for a service provider, SMEs without an online presence will find themselves at an ever-increasing disadvantage, which is why our goal is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to sell their goods and services online," concludes Chirnside

PayU enables and empowers businesses and individuals in the Middle East and Africa to safely transact and easily participate in e-commerce. Recently PayU has partnered with Oltio, a joint venture company between Standard Bank and MTN - a move which now enables consumers to make debit card payments through the mobile payment solution PayD, which introduces a very important market to the e-commerce sector.

This partnership enables PayU to tap into the very important mobile-commerce environment in Africa, a market which is showing significant growth, especially in light of the fact that most transactions in the region are still cash based. According to the Economic Commission for Africa, approximately 0.03% of Africans own bank accounts, compared to 6% of Africans who have a mobile telephone, which indicates the need for online payment methods which don't necessarily call for credit cards.

"In the not too distant future we will see a world where the poorest person will be able to buy the cheapest flight by using the channel and payment method that suits them." Not ignoring the obstacles to e-commerce on the continent, the introduction of e-commerce to the continent impacts on more than just an economical level. "To make electronic commerce work on the continent one has to be aware of socio-economic realities - it calls for a micro approach to certain realities, in order to achieve macro outcomes." by Chirnside.

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