Johannesburg - Online shopping has broadened the horizons of debit card holders, with credit cards no longer being the sole method of payment when shopping online, the Star
Only 8 million credit cards circulate in South Africa compared to 35.2 million debit cards last year, according to a Euromonitor International study. Euromonitor International is a company specialising in strategy research for consumer markets.
Mark Chirnside, CEO of PayU, an online and mobile payment service provider that processes over 60% of the total value of e-commerce transactions in SA, said it is about time debit cards were added to the online mix.
“This method of payment clearly addresses a huge need in the market.
"We know that only 6.25% of South Africans have a credit card and that, by comparison, the use of smartphones and ordinary cellphones are growing at a phenomenal pace in Africa."
“This combination of a mobile payment solution allowing for alternative payment methods is just another way PayU is ensuring an on-trend approach to the e-commerce environment,” he said.
Called PayD, pronounced “paid”, the new payment solution enables customers to make debit card payments through the mobile payment solution MasterCard Mobile.
MasterCard, Visa and Maestro card holders can use their pin-based debit cards issued by Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank, and a cellphone on the MTN or Vodacom network to pay for online purchases.
“The key feature is that it enables debit card holders to make secure online purchases,” said Chirnside.
PayD has over 230 online merchants, including 1Time Airlines, MTN, Vodacom, TakeAlot, Debonairs Pizza, Greyhound and Holiday Tours, said PayD spokesperson Dave Parratt.
“It is still early, but about 150 000 people have used the system, so it is taking off,” he said.
To make an online purchase using MastercCard Mobile, a user can select the MasterCard Mobile payment option on a participating e-commerce site.
In order to make a purchase, first time users of MasterCard Mobile will have to register their payment card of choice.
Card holders will have to enter their pin-based MasterCard, Maestro or Visa debit card number, the expiry date of the card (if available) and the account type (current, savings or credit). A cellphone number is also required.
Once registered, the user's cellphone number is used to initiate subsequent payments. Authorisation of payments is done by entering the card holder’s debit card pin on their cellphone.
Furthermore, the PayD method addresses the issue of insecurity still experienced by many online shoppers.
“This method requires a pin, and not just a card number to authorise each transaction, and, with a further link to your cellphone number, security risks are significantly reduced,” said Chirnside.
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