Online Payment Systems – Which One Has the X Factor Your Store Needs?

When you’re an eCommerce merchant, installing an online payment system for your business is a no-brainer. But the market for payment services is almost as broad as it is deep. We’ve sifted through your options and compiled bite-sized profiles of the best payment services to fit your needs.

Hang on – what is an online payment system?

Firstly, if you’re just getting started with your eCommerce business, don’t panic! We’ll explain everything. The online payment system is a creature that goes by many names. Payment gateway, payment processor, payment provider, payment service, payment system, payment service provider (PSP) or even merchant account. There are some variations in the meaning of these terms, but let’s stick to what you need to know!

All these terms refer to a company, service, or application that acts as a middleman between your website and your customer, as well as between your respective bank accounts. An online payment system oversees the completion of online transactions and processes online payments quickly and securely.

The kind of online payment system you’ll need will depend on the nature of your business. So, browse through some options to see what each one can offer you!

SnapScan: the snap-happy online payment system

SnapScan revolutionised the game by bringing one of the first mobile payment apps to South Africa in 2013. They’re all about streamlining payment processes for both consumers and merchants. Snapscan strives to remove the fuss of cards, codes, and cash. It’s a hands-free way to pay and to get paid!

Although it’s not strictly an online payment system, SnapScan can be integrated into almost any facet of your online business. You can add a digital SnapCode to your website, social media pages, and mailers for instant online payments. Plus, you’ll receive an automatic confirmation of payment via SMS.

Moreover, you can bring SnapScan to the outside world. It’s simple to use anywhere: in a store, at markets, or online. As long as you have a SnapCode and your customer has the SnapScan app, you can receive instant, secure online payments.


  • SnapScan provides new merchants with a free starter kit that includes a SnapCode in a stand, a double-sided sticker, and informative flyers for first-timers
  • It’s super simple and super quick
  • Provides seamless solutions for a variety of POS, eCommerce, and invoicing systems

SnapScan is a really great option for hybrid businesses looking for online payment systems which can manage both face-to-face and online sales. Wherever you are, you can receive online payments in a snap!

PayFast: the gold standard for online payment systems

PayFast has earned its reputation as the leading online payment system for South African online businesses for good reason. It’s designed for optimal integration flexibility, meaning that it can be scaled to service businesses of any size. It offers the widest range of shopping cart integration options on the continent.


  • Enables merchants to accept instant, secure online payments from anywhere in the world
  • The customer services and risk review teams prioritise support and safety for both merchant and consumer
  • Integrates with over 80 eCommerce platforms, including industry leaders like Shopify, WHMCS, WooCommerce, and Magento
  • Can be integrated with an existing shopping cart system or a custom-built website

Furthermore, you don’t need a merchant bank account to receive payments. All you need is a verified PayFast account that can be integrated with your website.

Additionally, PayFast will equip you with everything you or your web developer needs to know about integrating PayFast into your site. Through the dashboard on your PayFast account, you can access your recent transactions and account balance, generate reports, and request payouts.

For watertight transactions: SiD Secure EFT

If your business requires super-secure, irreversible online payments, then SiD Secure EFT is the option for you.

Since 2007, SiD Secure EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) has established itself as South Africa’s most trustworthy online payment system. SiD works like this: it links shoppers from your site directly to their internet banking profile, prepopulates the payment details, and redirects them back to your site. Additionally, they’ll receive instant payment confirmation.

Because SiD uses bank-level security measures like one-time PIN verification, it promises complete security in online transactions. Moreover, it’s a popular alternative to a credit card, which is the most common method of making online payments. By using SiD as your business’s online payment system, you’ll be reaching a huge market of shoppers who don’t want to use credit, have security concerns about paying with a credit card, or don’t have credit cards at all.


  • Bank-level security, 100% guaranteed online payments
  • Process orders faster with instant proof of payment
  • Attractive alternative to credit card

Improve your payment gateway with Payflex

There are tons of online payment systems out there. Your selection depends on what your business (and your customers!) needs. Coax more customers into filling their carts at your eCommerce store with Payflex! We’ll set you up with a merchant account and take you through integrating Payflex into your site.