DURBAN - Online payment gateway PayFast has seen a 226 percent year-on-year increase in new business account registrations in the food industry since Covid-19 led restrictions were put in place in mid-March.
In order to continue trading during the lockdown, many businesses have pivoted their product offering to provide essential goods, resulting in a significant spike in this sector.
"Our payment data supports this spike, showing that grocery stores, supermarkets and bakeries are among the retailers who have benefited the most during the first two weeks of lockdown with a 357 percent increase in sales. We’ve seen a three-fold and six-fold increase in the number of accounts registered in each industry compared to 2019," said PayFast Managing Director, Jonathan Smit.
The lockdown has spurred further growth in the online purchasing and home delivery of pet-care products and essential goods for babies.
PayFast has also seen an 83 percent year-on-year increase in new business account registrations since the lockdown began.
Smit said, "The increase is a combination of brick and mortar stores selling essential goods online and ecommerce stores, who are still processing purchases and payments for delivery after the lockdown ends. The online arms of businesses are keeping revenue streams flowing during this period".
To accommodate increased data use at home, consumers have increased their packages with internet service providers. We’re expecting this to increase with the additional two-week extension and uncertainty on when schools and universities will return to physical campuses.
According to Smit, there has been a 47 percent increase in cause account registrations since the announcement of the lockdown on 15 March. Additionally, our payment data shows a 136 percent 1ncrease in fundraising for charitable and social services.
While amusement and entertainment facilities have seen an 83 percent decline since the beginning of the lockdown, many South Africans are still supporting their local restaurants by purchasing vouchers to be redeemed for future appointments.
PayFast's designated integration hotline is available to assist new merchants set up online payments quickly on their ecommerce platform over the lockdown period.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE