With online retailers gearing up for a bumper festive season, accompanied by the rise in popularity of Black Friday locally (Friday 25th November 2016), South African ecommerce looks set for its best quarter yet.

The same holds true for local electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment gateway, i-Pay. According to the co-founder and CEO, Thomas Pays, i-Pay is set to double its transaction volumes over November and December this year.

While EFT payment is not usually associated with online transacting, the i-Pay team has managed to integrate EFT payments into an easy-to-use system on several well-known local online shopping platforms. These include Takealot.com, Superbalist, Spree, Incredible Connection, Pandora, Cape Union Mart, Netflorist, HP Shop andPlanet Fitness.

With the majority of transactions online still taking place via credit card, Pays believes that the i-Pay EFT payment gateway will come in handy for shoppers who might experience problems with credit card transaction failures. “When there is a huge influx of online traffic paying with credit cards, sometimes the back-end system crashes,” he says. “This is not the fault of the online retailers, but rather the legacy system that surrounds credit card payments.”

He notes that EFT does not have this problem since each bank runs its own system, allowing for payment to go through without hassle. “We are looking forward to offering shoppers an alternative to the normal credit card payment through the i-Pay EFT gateway,” Pays says.

Justin Drennan, co-founder of WantItAll and the Parcelninja delivery service, provides another reason why the i-Pay payment gateway should do well this festive season. “Mobile is a big driver of ecommerce and many people transact while browsing the web from the comfort of their beds or in front of the television. When you make use of a credit card, it’s always an effort to go find your credit card to type in the card and CVV number,” he says.

Drennan further confirms that online retail in South Africa is set for a boom in the upcoming months. “Yes, people will definitely be buying more online, since the credibility of online payment has been solved, and traditional distribution issues too,” he says.

Pays believes that the upcoming shopping period will provide consumers with a chance to try out the i-Pay EFT system while transacting online. “Whether it is because they don’t feel secure using a credit card online, or because the credit card payment system has crashed, the i-Pay EFT gateway offers an alternative method of payment that is both safe and quick – and it will work every time,” Pays promises.