While e-tailers invested heavily to ensure their sites stayed online, they were frustrated by traditional online payment services being unavailable. Photo: John Locher/AP

JOHANNESBURG – According to data from instant EFT payment provider i-Pay, the rand value from Black Friday sales this year grew by more than a thousand percent compared with 2016 figures.

i-Pay chief executive Thomas Pays said: “At face value, e-tailers have experienced the highest volume of sales on record for Black Friday in South Africa. More significantly, the completed transactions on the day increased by close on 700 percent when compared to last year.” 

However, Pays said he believed that the uncertain economic environment of the past year had contributed to how much consumers had been willing to spend online.

“Our data shows that the average EFT transaction value decreased by 19 percent from last year. It highlights the importance of e-tailers being able to process every transaction reliably and securely. Irrespective of the value of the sale, transactions add up and could mean the difference between reporting a profit and having to retrench staff,” said Pays.

He said while e-tailers invested heavily to ensure their sites stayed online, they were frustrated by traditional online payment services being unavailable.

“People could browse online stores but could not checkout and pay for their orders. This resulted in consumer frustration and merchants losing out on sales. However, with alternative payment solutions such as Instant EFT through i-Pay, this was mitigated.”

About 35 percent of consumers using i-Pay were using it for the first time. 

Pays said this was evidence that people were willing to embrace digital payment solutions. At one point during Black Friday, i-Pay was processing 438 concurrent transactions, with the fastest recorded transaction taking a mere 13 seconds.

“Being online is no longer good enough. You must empower merchants and consumers with digital payment solutions that are secure, do not require credit cards or customer registration, and are available no matter the traffic volumes. This year has shown the importance of this and made people aware of the need to use Instant EFT systems for their online purchases,” he concludes.

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