By Brendon Williamson, GM of PayGate

The local e-commerce landscape is becoming an increasingly cutthroat and competitive space. According to a recent survey released by advisory firm PwC, SA’s online retail sector has a forecasted growth of 15.9% CAGR and will be worth an estimated R9.5bn in 2018.

Unsurprisingly, the sector is seeing an influx of new entrants – which are all vying for a piece of what is shaping up to be a lucrative market. For both new and established merchants, credibility and brand equity will be a critical part of their success or failure.

Without doubt, a key element of establishing credibility in this nascent market is robust security – and the ability to provide wary customers with a safe and secure online environment in which they can transact with peace of mind.

For SA’s online shoppers, many of whom are new to the concept, security (and fear of fraud) is top of mind.

Brendon Williamson – the GM of PayGate

As a result, it is vital that merchants work with a trustworthy and respected payment gateway provider, which has established itself as a credible and robust brand in the industry. For one, your payment service provider should always provide the necessary collateral – such as a recognisable and trusted logo, consistent branding, etc., that will enable merchants to proudly display their partnership with the provider in question.

It is important that merchants recognise that online shoppers are becoming increasingly savvy, and are learning to be prudent in terms of verifying which payment service provider a particular site/merchant uses, and whether the correct branding and logos are present.

Consequently, those merchants who choose not to work with a trusted and recognised provider, and/or neglect to display any branding, run the risk of losing potential customers.

Merchants that work with PayGate, for example, are able to display the PayGate logo – which is by now widely recognised in the marketplace, as well as the PayGate PayProtector Third Party Assurance (TPA) seal. Merchants also benefit from the fact that PayGate is internationally recognised and respected, and is the provider of choice for big name brands such as DHL, Yuppiechef, and major African airlines.

Leading financial services players such as Standard Bank, FNB, ABSA, Nedbank, PayPal and Investec also trust and work with the brand, and display the logo on various sites as a way to reassure clients and customers that their online transactions are safe and secure.

As the industry grows and becomes even more hotly contested (simultaneously attracting the interest of wily cyber criminals), working with a trusted and reputable payment gateway services provider will undoubtedly become a key competitive differentiator going forward.


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