As a company, we always look forward to the release of the results of the annual MasterCard Online Shopping Survey. Since we process over 65% of the e-commerce transaction value in South Africa, we have an excellent idea of trends, but the survey often reveals other data, such as preferences, and online shopping behaviour. This year, there were some interesting results, notably the fact that 90% of respondents indicated that secure payment facilities and convenient payment methods were the most important considerations when making an online purchase. In addition to this, nearly half of respondents said that their favourite online store is Kalahari.com followed by Groupon, both of which are PayU customers.
As a payment gateway that enables businesses to accept debit and credit card payments online, we have always ensured that processing safe and convenient online payments is of the utmost importance for us. For this reason, we were one of the first payment gateways in the country to be PCI DSS certified. PCI DSS is a set of comprehensive safety requirements that payment gateways need to comply with to ensure that all cardholder data is always stored, processed and transmitted securely. Another highlight of the survey is that 91% of South Africans who shop online are highly satisfied with their overall experience, a 4% increase from the 87% who said the same thing in the 2012 survey.
"People who finally break the ice and go online shopping are very satisfied," says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx. This bodes well for SME's entering the online market. As more customers feel satisfied with their online shopping experience, the e-commerce market in South Africa is set to grow, and this will not just benefit the larger online stores, but spill over into the smaller e-commerce sites as well. And as the demand for a e-commerce payment facilities increase, it is vital that online payment service providers offer a safe and easy way for SME's to sell online.