PayFast – with more than 80 000 registered merchants – is celebrating its 10th birthday amidst a flurry of FinTech players and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin set to challenge its business.
The company was launched by Jonathan Smit in 2007 in South Africa.
This South Africa’s Biggest Online Payment Gateways was set up make online transactions simple, secure and accessible to all South African sellers and buyers.
Even though in 2007 online retailing in South Africa was still in its infancy, PayFast would revolutionize the local e-commerce landscape, starting with the launch of their proprietary product: Instant EFT.
Instant EFT enables buyers who hold a bank account to make online payments that are immediately verified. This service opened the e-commerce market to a whole new consumer segment, changing the playing field of the online payments sector.
PayFast soon identified that the requirement to open a merchant account to accept card payments was slowing down the potential growth of South Africa’s e-commerce industry. This inspired PayFast to again lead the way in developing a progressive onboarding flow that made it easy for anyone, even individuals, to accept card payments.
As PayFast hits the 10 year landmark, a look back showcases a series of industry firsts, including offering Bitcoin as a payment method in 2014, launching the first South African payment gateway option for the growing Shopify platform in 2012 and making the PayFast plugin for the ever-popular Woocommerce shopping cart available for free to South Africans in 2013.
More recently PayFast launched another game-changer with their recurring billing and subscription service, encouraging innovative new business models for merchants and simplified payment options for customers. It is technological advances such as these, that ensure that South African merchants remain at the forefront of innovation and growth in the e-commerce sector.
Since the company’s founding, PayFast has been determined to stay ahead of the curve. This ambitious strategy has secured the brand’s status as market leader and led to the payment gateway’s extensive list of 80,000 registered merchants with over 1.5 million unique buyers having used the service by 2016.
“We are proud to have achieved the 10-year milestone, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the growth PayFast and our merchants have enjoyed,” said Jonathan Smit.
“South African merchants have trusted us with their online payment processing for more than a decade. To acknowledge the important role our growing merchant base has played in the company’s success, we have lowered our card rates by more than 10% until the end of the year.”
PayFast’s standard card fees have been reduced from 3.9% to 3.5% as part of the 10th birthday celebration. The reduction in fees is valid from 21 June 2017 until 31 December 2017 and applies to existing merchant accounts as well as new accounts registered during the promotion period.