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Consumers keen on diverse payment methods

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Payment methods still remain a key factor for small businesses with 50% of these surveyed in the Sage Payments Landscape Report agreeing that South African businesses are lagging behind other countries when it comes to introducing new payment methods. 
The report looks into trends in the flow of cash between businesses and consumers, emerging payment methods and industry innovation in South Africa.
Almost a quarter (23%) of South African’s were unbanked in 2015, down from 25% in 2014, according to the TNS Consumer Finance Finscope 2015 survey. Yet South Africa has the most technologically advanced and accessible banking system on the continent, offering great potential for those operating in the payments space.
What’s more, 96% surveyed say it is important for businesses to offer customers a diverse range of payment methods.
The new report looks at the status of payments and payments innovation in South Africa. Headline findings of the report include the following: • 72% of South Africans prefer in-store purchases, with 42% looking online before making a purchase. • Only 29% of consumers will make a purchase online.• 65% of consumers say online wallets are likely to make a business seem modern and progressive. • 47% say the same about in-app payments. • Over 50% of consumers believe that online wallets and online debit transactions are secure. Mobile options such as Apple and Samsung Pay are considered far less secure.• While only 15% of those surveyed say they have been affected by online fraud in the last 12 months, 93% believe that payment providers can still improve their protection against fraud.• Top takeaways for the landscape report are as follows:o Plastic Payments such as debit and credit cards are still the most frequently carried payment methods for consumerso Providing A Range of payment options is now expected of businesseso Shopping In Store is still preferable to buying online for consumerso Mobile And Social Payments still raise security concernso Not Paying Your Suppliers on time could affect sales and brand reputationo Security remains the number one issue for consumerso Fraud Prevention can still be stepped up by businesses
For businesses, it’s all about catering to each consumer’s need and desire. Consumers say that security is the most important factor for them when it comes to payments — 58% say it’s the number one priority and 22% rank it as the second most important priority. Cost and convenience are also important to them. The majority of consumers agree that security of payment has improved in the last decade.
Says Charles Pittaway, MD of Sage Pay, a division of Sage: “Though around two-thirds of transactions in South Africa are still conducted using cash according to other research, we’re seeing a steady rise in adoption of credit cards, debit cards and mobile payments. More and more South Africans small businesses are beginning to appreciate that digital payments are safer than carrying money around.”
“They want to escape the transaction costs as well as the risks of drawing money. As contactless payments become more widespread, we’ll see more consumers using their cards or mobile phones even for smaller value transactions because it is so easy to do so.
“With wearable computers and the Internet of Things starting to take off, consumers, and business builders will have more choice of payment options than ever,” says Pittaway. “With technological change and digital invention becoming the norm, we use the smartest technology to reinvent and simplify business processes and transactions for our Small & Medium Business customers.”