FNB said over the past three years, it had seen a substantial increase in transaction volumes for the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

CAPE TOWN – FNB expects a 15 percent increase in the total number of transactions during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend between 29 November and 02 December, the lender said in a statement on Tuesday.

FNB said over the past three years, the bank had seen a substantial increase in transaction volumes for the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2018, Black Friday transaction volumes grew by 16 percent compared with 2017. 

While Black Friday may have originally started in the US, its worldwide popularity has soared in recent years with countries across the globe getting in on the action. Research has shown that the Black Friday phenomenon has grown faster in South Africa than any other country in the world.

Online retail is projected to reach 1.4 percent of total retail in South Africa, based on an estimated R1 trillion to be spent via traditional channels in 2018, according to findings of the Online Retail in South Africa 2019 study, conducted by World Wide Worx with the support of Visa and Platinum Seed.

Thokozani Dlamini, FNB Merchant Services chief executive said the total number of transactions processed through their payment system over the course of the Black Friday weekend in 2018 were 10 million on Friday, 8 million on Saturday, 5.9 million on Sunday and 6 million on Cyber Monday.

He said historically, both Card Present (CP) and Card Not Present (CNP) transactions, which include both online and in-app purchases increased during this period.

“While we still expect that CP transactions will reflect the majority of consumer spend, Online and App purchases, have shown strong growth in recent years in line with the increase and adoption of e-retailing in South Africa and globally.

“For example, when comparing the last two Black Fridays, CNP grew at 26 percent year on year, while CP grew by 14 percent year on year. Merchants like Takealot continue to be one of the top 10 merchants for FNB customers to spend on Black Friday, accompanied by the eBucks shop which offers consumers significant discounts,” said Dlamini.

He said as a proactive strategy to maximise sales from shoppers seeking to take advantage of Black Friday deals, FNB had noted that some retailers were now spreading specials over two or three days prior to Black Friday, in order to manage the volumes. 

While many consumers are prone to spend more impulsively on Black Friday, PriceCheck chief executive Chloe Lotter advised buyers to do their homework and remain vigilant. 

She advises to watch out for fraudulent offers, always use safe payment methods, ensure the product is in stock, take note of delivery and return policies, and keep an eye out for hidden costs.