Paying for online purchases is now easier than ever for South African consumers, thanks to the launch of Ozow Secure Payments, previously i-Pay Secure Payments. All shoppers need to be able to shop online is a bank account linked to their online banking profile.

By selecting Ozow Secure Payments at checkout for purchases, consumers no longer need to rely on a credit or debit card to shop and can instead complete their purchases using their online savings and cheque accounts, or even access bonds accounts if they wish.

“Instant EFT is easy and fast to use, offering shoppers an additional trusted payment option designed for their convenience,” says Ozow CEO, Thomas Pays. “Once consumers experience the benefits of paying with Instant EFT, they’re bound to use it again and again.”

The Narrative 2018 South Africa E-Commerce Report found that consumers are still wary of using online payment methods and question the trustworthiness of these platforms, which deters many potential customers from shopping online. With this in mind, Pays explains that Ozow (formerly known as i-Pay) has carefully designed its new payment flow to help guide the consumer through login and account selection.

“Keeping customers’ personal and sensitive information private and secure is our biggest priority, and we fully understand the need for customers to feel protected at every step in the payment process,” says Pays. “This is why, more than ever, security certification is clearly displayed. The entire transaction is heavily encrypted, ensuring the safe and secure processing of each customer’s sensitive data.”

After logging on to the Ozow portal using your internet banking details, the relevant account, amount and reference details will be securely auto-filled by the Ozow team to speed up the process and prevent errors. Payments are then authenticated in-app or on your mobile devices via SMS or USSD Push notification.

Pays points out that, while lengthy card details can be difficult to recall, people are generally able to remember their internet banking login information much more easily. This makes instant EFT an efficient, accessible payment option for all shoppers.

“Without instant EFT, the shopping experience can be really cumbersome for consumers who choose not to use their credit or debit cards, or who do not have cards at all,” he says. “In addition – standard EFT payment options (as opposed to the instant EFT option) can also make the payment process extremely cumbersome. Assuming that merchants offer a standard EFT payment option, potential customers must open an online banking portal in a second window, copy account details correctly, email proof of payment, and then wait for the payment to clear.”

Ozow is believed to be the first local payment processor in South Africa to offer zero setup and processing fees to start-ups, youth-run businesses, SMMEs, provided their online processing amounts to less than R1 million monthly for 12 months. Charitable organisations of all kinds can also enjoy Zero processing fee for as long as they use Ozow to collect their payments.

Any of these types of businesses wanting to start an online business with no processing fees, need to consider a credible, trustworthy online payment processor such as Ozow that offers quick, accessible and secure transactions, making the customer’s convenience a top priority.

Pays anticipates that more consumers are likely to embrace the world of online shopping as a result of having Instant EFT as a trusted, preferred payment method. This in turn will encourage more business owners to trade online, ultimately resulting in more jobs, and a diverse, entrepreneurial South African economy.

“South Africa boasts a number of top-quality home-grown online retailers offering consumers around the country competitive prices and an extensive range of products and services that they can access from the comfort of their homes or workplaces,” he says.

“The launch is a boost for South African e-commerce as consumers increasingly take advantage of easy, fast and trusted online payments, and aspiring business owners have the option of offering their customers a secure way to complete their purchases. We firmly believe that a thriving digital economy will benefit all South Africans.”