In today’s digital age, e-commerce businesses in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region need to be able to offer their customers a variety of payment options in order to stay competitive. In this blog post, our CEO, Louis Volschenk, explores the growth of e-commerce in the region and how Traderoot’s fintech solutions can play a role in helping the region’s e-commerce industry grow and thrive.

 

As the world demands more electronic payment methods and as more payment options for e-commerce merchants’ customers evolve, so payment service providers need a solution that provides secure, reliable and scalable payment acquiring. E-commerce merchants across the SADC region want to be able to accept tender by whichever method suits customers best at the time of checkout – using either a card, QR code, token, mobile or online EFT. Merchants also want a single, real-time view of their transactions and the fastest possible settlement, with statements.

At the same time as this demand is increasing across the SADC region, so the region’s e-commerce market is growing exponentially. This is indicated by the SADC region’s expected CAGR growth of 12.5% from 2022 to 2027. In numbers, this means that the market is expected to reach US$11.58 billion by 2027. South Africa is the largest e-commerce market in the SADC region, while Angola and Mozambique are showing extraordinary growth. The most popular e-commerce categories in the region are fashion, electronics, and home goods.

This projected 12.5% CAGR is due to a number of factors, including:

Increasing Internet Penetration

The number of internet users in the SADC region is growing rapidly. In 2021, there were an estimated 270 million internet users in the region, and this number is expected to reach 350 million by 2027. This growth in internet penetration is providing more people with access to online shopping.

 

Growing Middle Class

The middle class in the SADC region is growing rapidly. In 2021, there were an estimated 100 million middle-class consumers in the region, and this number is expected to reach 150 million by 2027. This growth in the middle class is creating a larger pool of consumers with disposable income to spend on online shopping.

 

Increasing Demand For Convenience

Consumers in the SADC region are increasingly demanding convenience. They want to be able to shop online from the comfort of their own homes and have their purchases delivered to their doorsteps. This demand for convenience is driving the growth of e-commerce in the region.

One of the key challenges for the region’s e-commerce businesses is how to continue to meet their customers’ demands for a wider range of payment options that are quicker, cheaper and more convenient. A key element to providing the region’s e-commerce shoppers with this solution is for the e-commerce payment systems to offer better integrated acquiring solutions.

 

Acquiring in the payments sector is the process of enabling merchants to accept payments from customers using credit or debit cards. Acquirers work with payment networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, to process payments and transfer funds from the customer’s bank to the merchant’s bank. Acquirers typically charge merchants a fee for this service, which is known as an interchange fee.

The acquiring process typically involves the following steps:

 

  • The customer swipes their credit or debit card at the merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) terminal.
  • The POS terminal sends the transaction information to the acquirer’s network.
  • The network verifies the transaction and sends it to the customer’s issuing bank.
  • The issuing bank authorizes the transaction and sends the funds to the acquirer’s network.
  • The acquirer’s network sends the funds to the merchant’s bank.
  • The merchant receives the funds from their bank.
  • Acquiring is a complex process that requires a high level of security and compliance. Acquirers must be able to protect customer data and comply with all applicable regulations.

 

There are a number of different types of acquiring models, including:

Direct Acquiring

In this model, the merchant contracts directly with an acquiring bank.

 

Reseller Acquiring

In this model, the merchant contracts with a reseller, who in turn contracts with an acquiring bank.

 

Third-Party Acquiring

In this model, the merchant contracts with a third-party payment processor, who in turn contracts with an acquiring bank.

The type of acquiring model that is best for a merchant will depend on a number of factors, including the merchant’s size, industry, and location. Utilising a robust acquiring solution offers several benefits to payments service providers, including:

 

  • Enabling merchants to accept payments from a wider range of customers.
  • Increasing sales and revenue.
  • Making it easier for merchants to manage their finances.
  • Enabling improved customer satisfaction.

 

Some of the challenges of acquiring in the payments sector include:

 

  • The cost of acquiring can be high.
  • The acquiring process can be complex and time-consuming.
  • There is a risk of fraud.
  • There are a number of regulations that must be complied with.

 

Traderoot’s Payment Service Provider – Acquirer product enables full ownership of the merchant relationship. The switching modules give our clients real-time operational control of payment and settlement transactions, with full reporting capabilities. They can be fully integrated with legacy systems to revitalise them, or they can run side by side with them during a full migration.

 

The PSP–Acquirer’s switching modules are more than robust enough to handle any transaction processing situation, and guarantee the recording of transaction outcomes as part of online transaction processing (OLTP). The PSP–Acquirer is EMV certified and can accept all chip-and-PIN cards. It supports full card and EFT payment functionality, as well as Value Added Services (VAS) such as voucher sales and account or utility payments. 

 

The Payment Service Provider – Acquirer product offers omni-payment switching and clearing solutions for:

  • Card transactions
  • EFT transactions
  • VAS transactions
  • Transaction aggregation to primary and secondary online transaction platforms, independent of channel
  • Traderoot back-office functions, including merchant management

 

All of Traderoot’s solutions are fully PCI PA-DSS 3.2 compliant, providing our clients and their customers with the highest level of security and peace of mind.

 

Traderoot can help you to take ownership of your acquiring strategy by providing you with the tools and resources you need to make informed decisions about your payment processing. To learn more about our Payment Service Provider – Acquirer product, click here, or email us at sales@traderootafrica.com and let’s start perfecting and protecting commerce.