The Shift towards Online Shopping

The trends observed in recent years indicate a substantial shift towards online shopping in South Africa. Deloitte’s recent study revealed that over 70% of South Africans now shop online at least once a month, with two out of three anticipating an increase in their online shopping in the coming year. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, with South Africa’s eCommerce growing by 66% in 2020. However, it’s important to note that South Africa’s online spending still lags behind the global average, offering ample room for growth.

Media Release

In the ever-evolving world of retail, the convergence of technology and payments is reshaping how we shop, pay, and interact with merchants. As we approach Black Friday and beyond, it becomes increasingly crucial to understand the current state of retail payments, the expectations for this shopping extravaganza, and the exciting innovations that promise to redefine the shopping experience. Johan Gellatly, the MD of Altron FinTech, shares valuable insights that shed light on transformative developments within the industry.

Innovations Enhancing the Retail Experience
Innovation in payments is thriving, and one of the critical areas being explored is the increase in alternative payment acceptance tokens. Retailers are expanding their options beyond traditional debit/credit cards and embracing alternative store-of-value payment sources. This not only diversifies payment options but also offers greater convenience to consumers.
The Rise of Streamlined Checkout
The quest for a streamlined payment journey is ongoing. Person-to-person transactions, exemplified by initiatives like Bankserve’s Payshap, are gaining momentum. Smartphones are increasingly being leveraged to replace traditional point-of-sale terminals, particularly in the SME sector. Additionally, self-checkout solutions, inspired by trends in the European Union, are seeing adoption, with several pilots in production.
Payments Aligned with the Supply Chain
The integration of technology into the payment process is revolutionizing how merchants operate. Android OS-based payment acceptance devices are gaining traction, offering versatility beyond traditional debit/credit card payments. These devices can serve multiple business functions, aligning with the just-in-time concept. This approach ensures the right product reaches the right customer at the right store and time, supported by a seamless payment experience.
The Tug of War
The struggle to bridge the gap between electronic and physical cash is a pressing issue within the financial industry. While our goal is to facilitate the transition to electronic payment streams, we acknowledge the trust issues that persist between consumers, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) providers, and banks. In particular, SMEs need help accepting card transactions, as delays in receiving funds can hinder their operations.
Building Trust and Efficiency
To address the trust deficit and improve efficiency, collaboration between FinTech providers, banks, and consumers is crucial. Our strategy revolves around streamlining the process of converting cash into electronic funds, ensuring that consumers receive their funds promptly. Simultaneously, empowering SMEs with faster access to their earnings is vital for the smooth functioning of their businesses. By addressing these systemic issues, we can build a more efficient, transparent, and trustworthy financial infrastructure.

As a FinTech entity, we are committed to driving innovation and positive change within the financial industry. Through our focus on technology solutions and the extensive data at our disposal, we aim to bridge the gap between the formal and informal sectors, gaining a holistic understanding of our economy. By fostering trust and enhancing efficiency, we can forge a path towards a more resilient and inclusive financial infrastructure that benefits all stakeholders involved.

The Future of Retail Payments!

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