While much has been said about South Africa’s increasingly competitive (and lucrative) e-commerce market, it is still dominated by a few large players.
Despite the fact that there are numerous small and entrepreneurial e-commerce businesses being formed locally, many of them fail to mature into sustainable online businesses.
In most instances, it is not for lack of will or business savvy – new e-commerce merchants face hefty barriers to entry in South Africa.
Chief among them is simply being able to start accepting payments for products or services online.
“The hoops that new e-commerce merchants need to jump through to start an online store are often complex and expensive,” explains Brendon Williamson, business development manager at PayGate, a leading payment services provider.
“It is not just about having an e-commerce enabled website, there are multiple stakeholders that are required to facilitate the payment process and the barriers to entry are extremely high.”
As Williamson points out, many newly formed e-commerce merchants lose out on valuable sales and income – purely because of the administrative hurdles they have to face.
For startups and SMMEs, such a scenario can shut down an otherwise promising enterprise.
Having recognised this all too common outcome, PayGate has launched an innovative payment collection service called PayCollect that enables startups and SMMEs to get up and running – and transacting – in less than 48 hours.
This platform enables new merchants to accept credit and debit card payments and get easy access to their money.
PayCollect requires no upfront/ monthly fees or onerous contract, and merchants only get billed for the transactions that take place.
In addition, the PayGate – PayProtector real-time fraud-monitoring system is included, so that new merchants are protected against the very real risk of credit card fraud (without having to pay additional fees for an added security mechanism).
“In this way, we are creating an enabling environment for new and small e-commerce merchants to grow and scale their businesses over time. Our PayCollect service can almost be thought of as an ‘incubator account’, as it is providing a much needed platform for new and small e-commerce merchants to build their businesses and gain traction in what is still a nascent market,” adds Williamson.