SME South Africa receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
The Best Payment Gateways in South Africa | SME South Africa

The Top Payment Gateways in South Africa

Updated on May 22, 2024

Yoco Payment Gateway - Affordable solution

    Yoco App dashboard

    Payment link functionality

    Supports subscriptions

    No setup fees

Read Review Compare Quotes

Payfast - Multiple payment options

    Custom integration available

    Popular payment methods

    Event ticketing & invoicing

    Access to Easy Advance

Read Review Compare Quotes


An online store opens businesses up to customers across the globe who are able to purchase products from them.

After choosing a reliable e-commerce platform on which to build your online store, the most important considerations for business owners is a payment gateway. Merchants need a payment gateway to receive payments online via an e-commerce store.

See also: Top E-Commerce Website Builders For Small Businesses

Today there are multiple payment gateway options available, each offering different services, but ultimately they allow businesses to process a customer payments safely and securely. This includes some of the most popular payment methods such as credit and debit cards. Other alternatives are Masterpass, Zapper, SnapScan, Mobicred, PayPal as well as SiD Secure EFT and MoMoPay.

A good payment gateway will also have functionalities to manage credit card chargebacks, reconciliation and overall account management.

Main Features

Shopping cart integration

It’s important that your payment gateway integrates with your existing shopping cart platforms to create a seamless payment process. There are a wide variety of online shopping cart platforms to choose. Each offer different tools and functionalities depending on your business needs such as store building, payment processing and customer management tools. Some of the best known ones in the market are Shopify and WooCommerce.


Security is the most important consideration for a payment gateway. A secure gateway will keep cardholder payment data safe and secure. One of the ways payment gateways do this is by providing consistent fraud protection and being Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant. In South Africa payment gateways also have to comply with the Payment Association of South Africa (PASA).  All websites that accept credit card payments on their website need to be compliant with both.

For additional security, 3D Secure (3DS) validation provides additional security against fraud. This 2-step authentication means no payments can go through without the cardholder authorising it first.

Multiple payment options

There has never been more payment method options available for customers to pay online. Because of this, it’s a good idea that your online store offers customers multiple ways to pay, with the option to choose one they know and trust. Some options your payment gateway can offer are Mastercard and Visa credit card and debit card payments, Masterpass, SnapScan, Zapper, Instant EFT, SCode and Mobicred.

Payment Link

More recently, merchants are now able to accept payments even if they don’t have a website through a payment link.  Customers can pay their bill by following the link. The payment is then securely processed online, without the need of a card machine, or a website.

Mobile Payments

Most online shoppers use their mobile phones to do their online shopping, according to the PayFast Ecommerce Performance Index, followed by desktop and tablet. This means your customers are most likely to be using their phones. It’s important that your payment gateway be easy to navigate for mobile users too.

Reports and analytics

Some of the data you can expect from payment gateway software are a view of transactions and day-to-day management of inventory and sales. You should also be able to access a reconciliation report.


Depending on your payment gateway service provider, you may have to pay setup or monthly fees. All providers, however, charge a per transaction fee which can start from anywhere from 2%.

Other costs to consider are minimum swipe fees (for swipes under specific amounts) or settlement fees (when you have to request settlement or per day traded).

Buyer's Guide

Business needs

Before choosing payment gateway software, it’s important to consider the following: which payment options (e.g credit card and debit card payments, Masterpass, SnapScan, Zapper) are your customers most comfortable using and are those options offered by the specific brand you are considering.

The second consideration is how much volume you expect to sell on average. Many payment gateways charge lower transaction fees the more you transact.

Setup process

Similar to how it’s now possible to DIY an e-commerce website with the introduction of out-of-the-box solutions, payment gateway setup has never been easier. Most business owners can set up their own gateway very quickly and easily.

There are several ways websites can integrate into a payment gateway to receive online payments. Many websites come with pre-built shopping carts that usually just require an ID and other basic information from the gateway, in order to be integrated.

Some gateways will require an Internet merchant account with one of South Africa’s main banks to receive card payments. To get an Internet merchant account you need to have a 6 month trading history, and provide proof of income.

Top Benefits of Payment Gateways

  • Increase market access – Leads to increase in sales.
  • Easy setup – Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Customer convenience – Customers can shop from any location at any time.
  • Security – Protect cardholder payment information

Compare our best picks

Yoco Payment Gateway


No payout fees charged.

Simple and Affordable

Unified Sales Management

Wide E-commerce Platform Compatibility

Fast and Secure Payouts


Limited payment methods available.

Limited Functionality for Subscriptions

Yoco is a good option for South African small businesses looking for a user-friendly and affordable way to accept online payments. However, if you need a wider range of payment methods or have a global customer base, you might consider other payment gateways.



Experience in the market.

Wide range of payment options

Easy to set up


Transactions happen only on Payfast’s online secure payment system

Withdrawal fees

Limited outside South Africa

Payfast is a good option for South African businesses and individuals who want a user-friendly payment gateway with a variety of payment options.

Join over 50k Entrepreneurs and Get Unstuck for free.

Our newsletter helps SME owners overcome mental blocks, blind spots and knowledge gaps in 5 minutes.

Call Action Form Center (Top Nav&Sidebar&Footer)