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Importance Of Online Payments

There are six factors that highlight how important a good user experience is in online payment transactions.

The process of making payments is an essential aspect of shopping online, but regrettably, it is also one of the contributing factors in the never-ending struggle against shopping cart abandonment.
Whether it's due to a lack of payment alternatives, complex payment processes, or poor design, one thing is abundantly clear: an excellent user experience is not only expected, but it's demanded as well.

Payment Options

One of the most crucial aspects of eCommerce is being able to provide the payment option that your customers use. Historically this has played a huge part in cart abandonment, with customers wanting to buy products but being forced to abandon their carts simply because they are unable to make payment.

Our experience has shown that there is also a balance that needs to be struck with offering a comprehensive list of payment choices, but at the same time not flood the user with an excessive list of options that actually hinder UX more than they assist it.

At PayFast we currently offer six payment options that cover the needs of the South African market including credit cards, our patented Instant EFT, and bitcoin. And perhaps more importantly we allow the merchant to offer only the options that they need.

User Interface

A poorly designed UI can be devastating when it comes to checkout and payments in particular. The UI needs to be simple and as intuitive as possible so that even a first-time user is able to complete the process unaided.

There is a widely accepted notion that “it needs to look right”, the appearance and performance of your UI go a long way in gaining trust and this is especially important when it comes to processing payments.

For us, creating the right experience is important; and one of the big aspects of our design is to minimize error, as well as allow room for it. We make sure that we provide clear information on steps users can take should an error case be present and always give them the option to contact us directly for assistance.

The Process

The checkout process needs to be simple, smooth, and quick. If the user has to fill out too many forms or perform too many difficult or repetitive actions the customer will become impatient, abandon the cart and leave.

As a third-party aspect within the Checkout process, we understand that our process needs to “slot in” with a wide variety of websites and their respective needs. We are constantly working to make payments via the PayFast engine as fast and seamless as possible, this can be highlighted by the choice of saved credit card information and click-to-copy information when using Instant EFT.


Global studies show that over 50% of users are concerned with identity theft when shopping online and while most people have become comfortable shopping on large and popular eCommerce websites, they are afraid of phishing and other fraudulent activities when it comes to smaller, lesser-known websites.

So much so that many users will abandon their online shopping session if they become unsure of the security features of an eCommerce store.

Security is huge for us here at PayFast, we are PCI Level 1 compliant, make use of 3D security, never disclose financial information and make use of banking level encryption. We recognize that our known and trusted brand is vital for both merchants and buyers when it comes to completing a transaction online.

Forced Registration

Although the collection of registration information is very useful, websites that do not allow users to make a purchase as a guest or without registering see a very high rate of cart abandonment and even more so see those users almost never return to their website.

We did away with registration on PayFast back in 2014 as it was one of the most requested updates to the PayFast engine at that time to improve user experience. As a further UX measure, we gave users the option to still create a PayFast account which allows for faster Future Payment.


Users have a need, a need for speed and poor loading times will lead to cart abandonment. Users are very impatient online and even more so when they are on mobile, so even a wait of just a couple of seconds could cost you a tonne of business.

Don’t believe us? Well, Amazon calculated that a page slowdown of just 1 second could cost them a staggering $1.6 billion in lost sales each year!

Increase Customer ReachOffering easy online payments reduces or removes manual tasks like data entry, managing customer disputes, and paper invoices. Some online payment methods automatically generate online invoices, saving time and money.
ConvenienceOnline payments make it easier to manage and store financial data. Various tools available on the internet assist with transactions, eliminating the need to manually track finances.
Faster ProcessingElectronic payment systems enable faster processing and the acceptance of multiple forms of payment, contributing to the efficiency of e-commerce.
Reduced Transaction CostsElectronic payments are faster than traditional methods, reducing transaction costs. ePayments allow online payments anytime, anywhere, eliminating the need for physical location visits.
Improved Supplier RelationshipsEfficient payment processes lead to faster payments, improving supplier relationships. Establishing an effective accounts payable (AP) process is crucial in today's business environment.
Automatic Payment CollectionOnline payments provide businesses with a convenient payment experience, including the option for customers to purchase goods on credit and pay later. Automatic payment collection reduces the need for constant customer reminders.
Secure TransactionsElectronic payment systems prioritize security and protect sensitive information, designed to prevent fraud and ensure secure transactions for both buyers and sellers.

As our name suggests, we like the speed at PayFast. Our servers are located locally in South Africa to keep response times as low as possible, we make use of load balancers to handle high volumes and our engine runs on the latest architecture with multiple connections, all to ensure that users don’t have to wait to make their payments.

We’ve also implemented services such as Instant EFT and saved card information to make the actual payment process as quick as possible for the user.

If you’re interested in getting started using PayFast as a Shopify merchant, go to for more information and to register for a free account.

South African Online Payment Gateways

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