Demand for secure online and contactless payments is surging in South Africa on the back of fears around the spread of coronavirus, with many people reluctant to use cash or to touch point of sale machines.
As the number of confirmed cases increases daily, growing numbers of retailers are scrambling to get online payment systems in place to meet a spike in demand from customers looking for contactless payment options, said Thomas Pays, the Chief Executive of online payment platform Ozow.
He said: “We’ve seen a massive uptake in activity on our platform as we support our merchants to continue to trade as normal as possible. We’re currently processing around 35-40% more transactions a day than we were a couple of weeks ago, and we’re being inundated by merchants wanting to go live on our system as their customers practise social distancing and want to avoid touching cash and card machines.”
The greatest demand is coming from pharmacy groups and retailers, who are processing huge volumes of ecommerce orders and deliveries from their stores. Retailers are also using Ozow for COD deliveries as it enables contactless transacting, while ensuring instant payment.
Pays said the current pandemic would accelerate the global trend away from cash to digital payments, as necessity drives faster adoption.