Between midnight and 2pm on Friday, the total number of transactions processed through First National Bank's (FNB’s) Merchant Acquiring Systems were 7.4 million compared to 5.6 million in 2018. Photo: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Between midnight and 2pm on Friday, the total number of transactions processed through First National Bank's (FNB’s) Merchant Acquiring Systems were 7.4 million compared to 5.6 million in 2018, the lender said in a statement on Friday.

This represents a 40 percent increase in transaction volumes compared to the same period last year. Transactions processed through the bank’s Merchant Acquiring Systems peaked at an average of 306 transactions per second. 

The chief executive of FNB Merchant Services, Thokozani Dlamini said while transactional volumes were expected to normalise later in the day, last minute shopping was anticipated to lead to intermittent spikes in volumes until retailers close their doors. 

"Online merchants have the luxury of opening until midnight while traditional retailers may consider opening for longer than usual to accommodate the after-hours rush,” said Dlamini.

Online merchants like Takealot, Zando and eBucks Shop were among the top online retailers where FNB customers bought discounted goods and services.

Cilliers Kriel, the chief executive of FNB Credit Card said overall, the lender expected card present transactions to make up the majority of card spend by close of business, however, there was a firm indication that South Africa’s consumers were growing accustomed to shopping online. 

"As the day draws to a close, we encourage customers to shop wisely by sticking to their budgets to accommodate the longer festive season period,” said Kriel.

FNB debit and credit card holders made more than R2.5 billion worth of purchases during last year’s Black Friday.

BUSINESS REPORT