If you want to receive online payments on your website, you will most likely use a payment gateway. A payment gateway allows processing payments from bank cards and other payment methods. But choosing one is not easy. You have to consider the costs, available payment methods, and extra services. In this article, we review the best payment gateways in South Africa to help you with this choice.

Different websites need different things out of their payment gateway. Some want extra services. Others value having the cheapest price above all else. Whatever your needs or budget, the perfect option for you is waiting below.


Before reviewing each available platform in detail, here is a list of payment gateway providers in South Africa with the transactions fees for each of them.

Payment GatewayTransaction FeeOther Benefits
Payfast3.2% + R2 per transaction (cards) 2.0% min R2 (EFT)Cash-flow loans
Yoco2.95% down to 2.6% (card only) 
Ozow2.5% down to 1.5% (EFT only) 
Zapper2.9%Cash-flow loans
SnapScan2.95% down to 2.55% 
Mobicred3.5%Customer financing
Peach Payments2.95% + R1.5 per transaction (cards) 1.50% + R1.5 per transaction (EFT) 
Paygate3.5% 
PayGenius3.2%Foreign currencies
Paypal5% to 10% depending on optionsForeign currencies
2checkout3.5% + 0.3€ per transactionForeign currencies
Totals correct at time of publishing (03/2023)

As you see, for card payments, transaction fees range from 2.9% to 3.5% per transaction. For EFT payments, the range is 1.5% to 2.5%. Some platforms also have added benefits that can be interesting for your business. For instance, some payment gateways offer loans based on your transaction history with the platform.

None of the options below involves a monthly fee. In all cases, you only pay for the successful payments processed by the gateway.


Best Payments Gateway in South Africa

Now let’s review in more detail the best payment gateways available in South Africa.


PayFast

PayFast best payment gateway south africa

Payfast started in 2007 with the vision to help online merchants grow their business. Today, Payfast powers more than 80,000 merchants in South Africa.

Payfast is one of the easiest payment gateways to start with. You can set up an account in a few minutes. Then, after you submit your documentation, accounts are usually approved in a couple of days. One of the main advantages of Payfast is that they offer many different payment methods. It includes credit and cheque cards, as well as instant EFTs with most of the main South African banks (FNB, Capitec, Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank…). They also integrate with Zapper and SnapScan, as well as Mobicred, Scode, and Masterpass. This gives a lot of options through one single supplier. Payfast also offers cash advance solutions, based on your transaction history with the platform.

Payfast only charges a fee for each successful transaction. The Payfast transaction fee for payments done with credit and cheque cards is 3.2% + R2.0 per transaction. Instant EFTs incur a 2% fee, with a minimum of R2.0. For the other payment methods, the fees are between 3.5% and 5.5%. Payfast does not charge any monthly fee to use their service, but there is an R8.7 fee for each payout to your bank account. The fee structure is clearly displayed on the site and is negotiable when you reach a certain revenue. You do not need a merchant account to use Payfast.

Payfast integrates with 80+ shopping carts, including Portmoni, WooCommerce, and Shopify. You can find the full list on their site.

Overall, Payfast has the advantage of being easy to set up and offers a wide range of payment options. However, the fees are not the cheapest and they charge a fee to withdraw your money to your bank account.

Pros:

  • Very easy to get started
  • High number of payment methods available

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest transaction fee
  • 7 payout fee to withdraw money to your bank account

Yoco

yoco credit card machines south africa

Yoco is well known for its credit card machines, and they also offer an online payment gateway for South Africa. Their focus is to make it simple for entrepreneurs to get paid and grow their businesses. Yoco currently processes payments for more than 200,000 businesses.

It is very easy to open an account and start receiving payments with Yoco. The process only takes a few minutes. The Yoco payment gateway allows receiving transactions directly through your site. All transactions are protected by 3D-Secure, and Yoco releases funds to your bank account within 2 business days.

In terms of payment methods, Yoco allows accepting payments using any Visa or Mastercard.

The Yoco transaction fees for online payments start at 2.95%, with no minimal or fixed fee per transaction. The fees also go down depending on your monthly volume of transactions. If you reach R80,000 per month, the transaction fee is already down to 2.6%. If you process more than R100,000, you can even get custom rates negotiated directly with Yoco. For payments from international cards, the Yoco transaction fee starts at 3.45%, down to 3.05% depending on your monthly sales volume.

The Yoco payment gateway integrates with several eCommerce platforms, including Portmoni, Wix, WooCommerce, and Shopstar.

Overall, Yoco is a great solution with a very easy-to-use interface. The Yoco brand is also well-known and trusted, thanks to its large network of mobile card machines in South Africa. The only downside is that they only offer credit and debit card payments.

Pros:

  • Very easy to get started
  • The Yoco transaction fees are affordable
  • Customers are familiar with the brand thanks to their large network of credit card machines in South Africa

Cons:

  • The only available payment methods are bank cards

Zapper

zapper payment portals

Zapper is a QR code and online payment method in South Africa. With more than 70,000 merchants and 800,000 users, they are a large player in this field.

Zapper is a solution based on the use of QR codes. The way it works is that a Zapper user will have to install the Zapper app on their phone and link it to their bank card. Then, when they want to make a payment, they only need to scan a QR code on your website using their phone’s camera. Then, once they approve the payment through the Zapper app, the amount is sent to you. As the process does not require entering card details, this can help with conversion rates.

Besides processing payments, Zapper offers different value-added services. They will manage a base of customers for you, and you can then send them vouchers and offers through the Zapper app to attract orders. They also offer a cash advance facility based on your transaction history with them. To qualify, you only need to have been an active merchant for at least 6 months with a minimum of R5000 per month in processed payment. This can be very interesting for cash-intensive businesses like eCommerce.

Zapper offers two packages. The first one requires no fixed monthly subscription, and Zapper then charges a 2.9% commission on payments. The second package benefits from a reduced transaction fee of 2.2% but attracts an R199 per month fee. This second package also has the benefit of daily settlements to your bank account, instead of weekly.

Zapper integrates with several eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Ecwid, or Magento.

Overall, Zapper has the great advantage of not needing to enter your payment details at checkout. They also offer cash-flow financing. Yet, customers need to be users of the app to use this payment method.

Pros:

  • QR based
  • Customers are familiar with this payment method for in-store shopping

Cons:

  • Customers need to have the Zapper app to use this payment method

SnapScan

SnapScan online payment platform south africa

SnapScan is a quick and easy way for customers to pay online. SnapScan was started in 2013 and was one of the first mobile payment apps in South Africa. They are available in many retail stores, restaurants, and also offer an eCommerce solution. Over 60,000 merchants use SnapScan in South Africa.

Like Zapper, SnapScan is a QR code based payment solution. This means that a user will download the app, and configure it by entering their payment details. Then, they can just scan a QR code available on your website to make a payment. Like with Zapper, the advantage of a QR code based solution is that there is no need for customers to enter their payment details for each transaction.

The SnapScan transaction rates depend on your monthly turnover. They start at 2.95% and decrease to 2.55% if you process more than R80,000 per month. There is no fixed monthly subscription.

SnapScan has integrations with WooCommerce, Magento, ShopStar, and OpenCart. They also offer a partial integration with Shopify. Finally, a custom API allows integrating any eCommerce platform like Portmoni.

Overall, SnapScan is an interesting payment channel. It allows clients to pay directly without having to enter their payment details. Yet, to use SnapScan, they need to have the app already installed and configured on their phone.

Pros:

  • Customers do not need to enter their payment details for each payment
  • SnapScan is widely used in retail stores so many customers have it installed already

Cons:

  • Customers need to have the SnapScan app installed to use the payment method

Ozow

Ozow instant eft

Ozow is a payment gateway focused on EFT payments. They work with several well-known online businesses including Takelot, Loot, Zando, and Vodacom.

Ozow allows clients to make instant EFT payments. With instant EFTs, bank transfers are verified and settled in real-time. There is no need to wait 24 to 48 hours for the funds to clear, and you also get a payment notification in real-time. Ozow integrates with most of the main banks in South Africa, such as Bidwest, TymeBank, Investec, Capitec, Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, and Nedbank. The solution also allows refunding payments easily if needed.

Ozow is free to use for the first 12 months if you process less than R1 million in transactions in total. After that, Ozow charges a 2.5% transaction fee. The fee goes down to 1.5% if you process more than R10 million per month. Ozow also charges a refund fee of R3 to R8.5 depending on the value of the transaction. If you use their integrations, Ozow also adds an extra fee. For instance, they charge an extra 0.3% if you process transactions through Shopify.

Ozow offers integrations with shopping carts, like WooCommerce, Shopify, Prestashop, J2store, or Drupal.

Overall, Ozow is a good solution to collect payments using instant EFT payments. They also offer free transaction fees for 1 year to most businesses. However, after that period, they are not the cheapest. When you compare Ozow vs Payfast, the lack of choice in payments methods is also a limitation.

Pros:

  • Free transaction fees for 12 months up to R1 million processed revenue
  • Instant EFT solution

Cons:

  • Payment options limited to EFT
  • Not the cheapest after the first 12 months

Mobicred

Mobicred payment gateway south africa

Mobicred is an online payment platform in South Africa that has the added benefit of offering a credit facility to your customers. Your clients will be able to buy your products on credit and Mobicred will provide the financing. This can be a big advantage if you are selling expensive items. Mobicred is already used by more than 1600 online stores in South Africa.

To use Mobicred, both you and your clients need to be approved by Mobicred. After that, your clients will be able to buy your products on credit from your site, with financing from Mobicred. You as the merchant will get your money upfront, while your client repays Mobicred over time. Mobicred assumes the risk of recovering the money from the customer.

Mobicred charges a commission of 3.5% per transaction. This is the only cost to the merchant for a Mobicred sale. Your client also has to pay the cost of the credit if they choose this solution.

Mobicred is available through PayU, Paygate, Payfast, and Peach Payments. When you use one of these payment gateways, you just need to activate Mobicred in your payment options. Once you are approved, it will become available for your clients.

Overall, Mobicred can ease payment for expensive products. Yet, customers need to be approved by Mobicred before making a purchase. The fees are also higher than most traditional payment methods.

Pros:

  • Once approved by Mobicred a client can get credit automatically
  • Credit can increase conversion for expensive products

Cons:

  • Clients need to go through the Mobicred credit process before making a purchase
  • Not the cheapest option

Payflex

PAYFLEX online payment gateway

Payflex is another payment option that allows consumers to shop now and pay later. The difference with Mobicred is that the credit offered is interest-free. Payflex started in 2017 and has more than 200 merchants on board. They are currently expanding to all South African online shops.

Clients using Payflex get the option to pay their products in 4 installments over 6 weeks at 0% interest. On the merchant side, you receive the money upfront. Payflex assumes credit and fraud risks. By making payments easier, Payflex claims that the order value of their clients increases by 70% and the repurchase rate by 80%. If a client misses a scheduled payment, Payflex charges an R65 default fee for every week the installment is outstanding. There is a maximum of 3 charges for the default fees.

Payflex charges a per-transaction fee on successful transactions, but the amount is not publicly available on their website. There is no setup fee, but they do charge a fixed monthly service fee in addition to the transaction fees.

Payflex integrates with many eCommerce platforms including OpenCart, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and Prestashop. They also offer an API to integrate any other solution or custom website.

Overall, Payflex offers another interesting alternative for customer credit. It has the added benefit to be interest-free.

Pros:

  • Increase order value by allowing payments in installments
  • 0% interest for the client

Cons:

  • Clients need to have a Payflex account and be approved before using the service.

Peach Payments

peach payments south african payment gateways

Peach Payment started in 2009 intending to revolutionize online payments in South Africa. Today they are one of the well-established players in the field. They process over R1 billion a month for their merchants.

Peach Payments allows accepting local and international cards, EFT, Masterpass, and Mobicred. Their enterprise package also allows accessing Paypal and multi-currency payment.

Peach Payments transaction fee is 2.95% + R1.50 per transaction for cards. EFT payments are cheaper at 1.5% + R1.50 commission per transaction. There is no setup fee or monthly fee with their growth plan, where payments are settled weekly. For businesses that transact more than R300,000 per month, an enterprise package is available. The cost for this enterprise package is a fixed fee monthly fee of R500. This package enables customized volume-based rates and daily settlements, as well as access to Paypal.

Peach Payments integrate with several eCommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, Shopify, Wix, and Magento.

If you compare Peach Payments vs Payfast, Peach Payments offers cheaper rates. However, they have fewer online payment methods available, and the setup is not as easy as with Payfast.

Pros:

  • Access to Paypal with the enterprise package

Cons:

  • Focus on larger businesses and enterprise

Paygate

PayGate online payment platforms

Paygate is another well-established payment gateway in South Africa. They are owned by the DPO Group, like Payfast. DPO works with over 100,000 merchants in 19 countries, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Paygate allows receiving payments through many channels. You can accept secure online card payments worldwide through Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Diners. You can also receive instant EFT payments using the SiD Secure EFT service. Paygate also allows receiving payments through Zapper, SnapScan, Mobicred, Paypal, and MTM MomoPay.

Paygate offers two different packages. The Paygate Switch package allows you to be paid in real-time but requires that you have a merchant account. With a base fee as low as 0.25%, it is the most cost-effective if you process large volumes. The other option, Paygate Plus, does not require a merchant account. Funds are settled every 72 hours. With Paygate Plus, the transaction fee is 3.5% on all transactions. Both packages are month-to-month and allow receiving cards, QR codes, and all other payment methods supported by Paygate.

Paygate supports many different shopping carts. The list includes WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Ecwid, and several others. An API also enables custom integrations.

If you compare Paygate vs Payfast, which are both parts of the DPO Group, the main difference is that Paygate will have a stronger focus on larger businesses and enterprise customers.

Pros:

  • High number of payment options available
  • The Paygate Switch is affordable for high volume merchants that have a merchant account

Cons:

  • At 3.5% Paygate Plus is among the expensive options

PayGenius

paygenius online payment methods south africa

PayGenius started in 2011. They focus on providing innovative B2B solutions to process secure payments online. PayGenius has the advantage of allowing receiving payment in foreign currency. They currently support Euros, USD, and GBP, in addition to South African Rands.

PayGenius supports payments worldwide from all debit, credit, cheque, and hybrid cards issued by Visa, Mastercard, Diners, and American Express. They also offer Instant EFT payments. Finally, clients can also pay directly from their PayGenius wallets. This gives access to their 20,000 recurrent users. Those users can pay in 1-click without having to enter their bank or card details again.

PayGenius charges a 3.2% transaction fee for transactions in South African Rands. They do not charge any monthly subscription. For transactions in euros, USD, or GBP, the fee starts at 4%.

PayGenius integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. They also offer an online API to connect to any other available platform.

Pros:

  • Payment in foreign currencies is available

Cons:

  • Lesser-known solution
  • More expensive than some alternatives

Netcash

netcash gateway payment

Netcash is an established online payment platform in South Africa with more than 16 years of experience. They offer a wide range of payment services, among which a payment gateway for eCommerce businesses.

Besides their online payments gateway service, Netcash offers loans based on their merchants’ transaction history. Pre-approved funding offers are generated based on the account data. This allows getting unsecured loans based on the transaction history.

Netcash offers many online payment methods for your eCommerce website. They offer Instant EFT through Ozow, credit card, and Scode. Several QR wallets and banking apps like Zapper and SnapScan are also available.

The Netcash transaction fees are not publicly available. You can contact them for more details.

Netcash also integrates with different eCommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, Prestashop, and Magento.

Pros:

  • Established payment provider
  • Instant loans are available

Cons:

  • Not a specialized online payment gateway supplier

PayU

PayU payments gateway

PayU is a global payment solution available in 50 different markets, including South Africa. They work with some of the biggest online retailers in the country. With 10 million transactions processed daily, they are well placed among the online payment platforms in South Africa.

PayU offers solutions for 1-click payments, subscription payments, security, and financing solutions. They offer different payment methods, including bank cards and EFT payments through Ozow. They also offer cash-flow loans based on your transaction history.

The PayU transaction fees are not publicly available on the website. You can contact them for any details.

Overall, PayU is an established payment gateway, but more focused on larger businesses and enterprises.

Pros:

  • Services extend beyond payment with for instance cash-flow loans

Cons:

  • More geared towards enterprise clients
  • Pricing is not transparent

Paypal

PayPal

Paypal was one of the earliest companies facilitating payments online. They are still one of the most trusted brands in the industry. Unfortunately, Paypal does not currently allow receiving payments in South African Rands. However, it is one of the few options available to receive payments in foreign currencies from South Africa.

Due to regulations and foreign exchange control in South Africa, it is however quite complex to set up and manage a Paypal account. Indeed, Paypal accounts have to be linked to an FNB account that will be used to withdraw the funds into a South African bank account. All PayPal balances must also be withdrawn within 30 days of receipt of funds. It is not possible to hold your funds in your Paypal account and spend them from there.

Using Paypal in South Africa leads to multiples fees:

  1. A Paypal commission of 3.4% + $0.30 USD per transaction (can get down to 2.4% depending on volume).
  2. An FNB withdrawal fee of 1.52% (can get down to 0.81% depending on volume).
  3. A foreign exchange fee (typically around 2%).
  4. And finally, a payments gateway fee if you use one to process Paypal payments (2.5% to 3.5%).

In total, the fees will add up to between 5% and 10% of the transaction amount, which is quite expensive.

The main advantage of Paypal is that it is widely trusted, and integrated with almost all eCommerce platforms. If you want to use it on your site, you can check our full guide on how to use Paypal in South Africa.

Pros:

  • Known and trusted brand

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to set up and manage in South Africa

2checkout – Verifone

2checkout verifone international payment gateway south africa

Another option to accept payments in foreign currencies in South Africa is using 2checkout – Verifone. 2checkout is an established company in the field, but less known in South Africa. It is used by more than 20,000 shops worldwide.

2checkout focuses on a few segments of the market. It is available for software, SaaS, and some online services, as well as eCommerce merchants. If you fit in the activities they support, it is very easy to set up your account and get verified. You can then start accepting payments in different currencies.

The 2checkout transaction fee is 3.5% plus 0.3€ per transaction. They also offer different pricing for subscriptions at 4.5% + 0.4€, and for digital goods at 6% + 0.5€ per transaction. There is no fixed monthly fee.

2Checkout integrates with over 120 eCommerce shopping carts and allows selling in over 200 countries and territories.

Pros:

  • Easy to setup
  • Allows processing payments in foreign currency

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Your activity needs to be on their accepted list

South African Payment Gateways – Buying Guide

Now, let’s review some of the criteria to select which is the best among the South African payment gateways.

What is a payment gateway?

First, let’s have a look at what online payment gateways in South Africa offer exactly. The payment gateway is the middleman between you and the bank of your customer. It allows you to receive payments made using different methods, typically credit and debit cards. In South Africa, popular payment methods available through payment gateways also include instant EFTs, as well as QR codes payments.

With a payment gateway, customers can use their payment details to pay for goods or services on your site. The gateway then connects to the bank to ensure the customer has sufficient funds. It then carries out the transaction in a secure manner. The payment gateway takes care of all the security layers required by the transaction, such as PCI DSS compliance. It also usually offers risk assessment and fraud prevention services. This allows blocking customers who use fraudulent or stolen cards before they buy on your site.

The process goes as follows:

  1. The customer purchases on your site and validates its order.
  2. They enter their payment details, which are submitted through the payment gateway.
  3. The payment gateway collects the information needed and transfers it to the payment processor.
  4. The payment processor submits the information to the card association, which checks for authenticity.
  5. When the authorization is validated by the card network, the customer’s bank either approves or denies the transaction.
  6. The bank sends this information back to the payment processor.
  7. The payment processor then sends the response to the gateway.
  8. The gateway forwards it back to the website.
  9. The money is then accepted by the merchant’s bank and starts processing to their account.

As you see, this is a complex process, which is entirely taken care of by the payment gateway on your behalf.

Which payment options should I offer?

In South Africa, about 20% of online sales are paid through EFT, and the rest by credit and debit cards. You should thus aim at accepting at least cards and EFTs.

The recommended setup is to offer different payment options to your clients, but not overwhelm them with too many choices. This can be achieved by several means. First, you can use a single payment gateway that combines several payment methods. This would be the case of solutions like Payfast for instance. Another option is to combine different payment methods yourself. To offer credit card payments, instant EFTs, and QR code payments, you can for instance offer payments through Yoco, Ozow, and SnapScan.

How to receive payments in foreign currencies in South Africa?

Most payment gateways allow your foreign customers to pay on your site using their international debit or credit card. They are charged in South African Rands, and their own bank will do the currency exchange for them. On your side, you receive South African Rands directly.

Yet, in some cases, it can be interesting to charge directly in foreign currencies. Due to regulations in South Africa, only a few payment portals are available in that case. Those include Paypal and 2checkout – Verifone. Some payment gateways also include this option by default, like PayGenius and PayGate.

The Bottom Line

Selecting the best payment gateway in South Africa is key for the success of your business. The cost is an important factor. The trust in the payment partner you select and the ease of use of the solution are also important to consider.

Depending on what you need, we recommend Payfast as the best eCommerce payment gateway in South Africa. It includes many payment options, is very easy to set up, and has a reasonable cost.

Another great choice if you only need credit card processing is Yoco. Their interface is great and easy to use, and their brand very well-known and trusted. Yoco can be coupled with an EFT payment portal, like Ozow. Their solution links to the most common banks in South Africa.

Are you looking for a eCommerce solution that actually works well. We have a team that specialises in eCommerce website solutions. Get in touch with us for more information. All our website services include advanced Search Engine Optimisation and Security at it’s core.


7 Comments

Joyce Mhlangu · 29th March 2023 at 5:35 pm

Oh wow, thank you so much for all this information. Really appreciate it very much. Very detailed information that we been looking for for ages. Thanks again

Johan · 10th April 2023 at 11:15 am

Excellent post. Really good collection of payment gateways. Most of these I never knew of. Thanks for the share

Emily · 20th May 2023 at 2:10 pm

Very very useful, thank you so much. I can show my clients this now when I develop ecommerce websites. It will make it much easier for them to choose. It sounds like you prefer PayFast – Have you tried any other ones that you might suggest I look at?

    WDA Digital · 15th May 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Emaily, thank you for your comment. Yes, we prefer PayFast but have worked with a fe wother ones as well. They are all mostly the same but for a standard eCommerce shop in SA PayFast is the quickest, easiest setup with great features

Maria · 5th June 2023 at 3:11 pm

Thank you so much for this info.

Micaela Alberts · 11th September 2023 at 9:42 am

Thanks, been looking for something like this. Saved me a lot of time.

WDA Digital · 29th December 2023 at 5:45 pm

You are welcome. It is quite in depth 🙂

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