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New shopping phenomenon a hit in SA following worldwide success

By Karishma Dipa Time of article published Apr 3, 2021

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While most industries were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global health crisis has fast-tracked the e-commerce sector.

Shopping phenomenon Payflex has disrupted online shopping trends and has allowed South Africans from all walks of life to participate.

Launched in 2018, the “Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) interest free” shopping revolution has also been a hit in the US, Australia and Europe with 5.7 million users worldwide.

It recently entered the South African market through a collaboration with Superbalist, but today it has over 80 000 customers and more than 600 retailer partners.

“Several new exciting collaborations with South African stores are also on the cards,” said Payflex founder and chief executive Paul Behrmann.

He believes that the coronavirus pandemic might have excavated their growth in the country and this will allow them to expand their operations by 80 e-commerce stores, and more than 10 000 new registered users, monthly.

Payflex CEO and founder Paul Berhmann. File image.

“Over the last 365 days, BNPL fintech Payflex has more than quadrupled our year-on-year customer sign-ups.”

Berhmann said this was because our “stay at home” lifestyles enables consumers to purchase all kinds of goods from the comfort of their homes.

“Retail consumer behaviour changed at an unprecedented speed as new habits and behaviours formed.

“The ability to shop 24/7, from anywhere, in any way, means today’s consumers expect more from retailers – they want quick, personalised, tailored shopping experiences that use simple processes.”

The international health crisis has also put finances in the spotlight and forced consumers to be more careful with their spending.

“The pandemic rapidly accelerated the adoption rate of digital payment options and this has fuelled a demand for alternative payment solutions that are more budget-friendly while giving them greater control of their finances.”

This rings true too for South Africans, who largely have a complicated relationship with their finances.

“South Africans need a payment solution that does not rely on costly credit and is simple to use. Traditionally, paying via instalments in South Africa has been associated with high-interest charges but by using Payflex, customers can plan ahead and ensure that their purchases are interest-free.”

The ease and convenience of Payflex has also seen more South African using its services.

This is as the simple process entails purchasing an item with only 25% of the price needed to be paid upfront. It will then be delivered to the consumer with the three other payments only needing to be made every two weeks for six weeks until the payment is complete.

“The hassle-free Payflex option allows you to see exactly how and when you will make your payments, and provided you make your scheduled payments on time, you won’t be paying one cent extra in interest or fees for your purchase.”

While clothing items are the most popular purchases made through the Payflex platform, there has also been an increase in fitness as well as technological and electronic item sales.

With the growth of Payflex and other digital purchasing tools, Berhmann insists that the online shopping sector will continue to increase.

This, as the South Africa’s e-commerce sector – local online retail – is set to pass the R62 billion mark this year, which is almost 4.5 times the 2018 figure of R14 billion.

“It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has completely rewritten the rules of retail and growth in competition, rapidly changing customer expectations, and the emergence of new technologies is fundamentally changing every facet of retail as we know it,” said Berhmann.

“Consumers will continue to demand greater personalisation and convenience, simple payment methods and greater control over their finances.”

The Saturday Star

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