Payment Gateway options in South Africa

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Tourist
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Hello,

I am just starting my business and my website. I’m based in South Africa, but much of my client base is located in the US and Europe. I’ve almost finish building my website on Shopify only to discover how limited my payment gateway options are. Payfast and Paypal are available to me but Paypal only works with USD, not allowing checkout in ZAR, and Payfast has a very low maximum payment limit. If I change my store currency to USD then, from what I’ve read, I must then open a bank account in the US. I do have a bank account in the US already, but then taxes, accounting and actually getting my money would be more of a nightmare than they already are.

All the apps able to solve my problem only work fully with Shopify Payments, which is not yet available in South Africa

Can someone please clarify for me if there is a straightforward solution to this problem? I've read through related topics on the forum and not found any answers. Maybe there is some updated information on it that I haven’t run across?

Thanks!!

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Community Moderator
Community Moderator
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This is an accepted solution.

Hi @AM13,

 

Nick here from Shopify. 

 

Really good questions! I completely see where you are coming from if your client base is mainly in the US and Europe. If it was me I would stick to keeping things with your native currency as that is where your business is set up and registered. I would recommend using one of the gateways Shopify is partnered with, in South Africa which you can see here

 

You can change your currency if you like, but what you get paid out and what kind of bank account you need to accept it depends on the payment method you are using to collect the money. You can set your store so your customers see their native currency with a currency converter app from the Shopify App Store. The checkout would display in ZAR though. 

 

Hopefully, this helps answer your question and gives you an idea of the next steps to take. 

 

All the best, Nick

Nick | Community Moderator @ Shopify
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New Member
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Hey, 

I´m also comfronting with the same problem, we got two shops and the both of them are working on the same credit card. On the first shop we already bought a new domain to change it from .myshopify in just .com .. so on the second shop we tried to do the same but it´s showing me the same warning and I´m not able to buy it.. I already tried your steps to clear the browser or to verify my Information. I also tried to switch different Browser and still not working.. what should I do to be able to buy a new domain for the second store?

 

Sorry for writing here but I really do need help and I would be greatful if you´d help me

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Tourist
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Hi Nick,

Thanks so much for your reply! You've confirmed what I had been able to discover and I appreciate the advice.

 

I will check out the currency converter apps and hopefully at some point in the near future more options will be available here through Shopify.

 

The only question I have now is whether Paypal Express will work. It's listed as an option in SA but when I "check out" in test mode it says it doesn't support my currency. I guess I'll have to contact them directly?

 

Thanks again and all the best,

Amber 

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Excursionist
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I'm helping set up a store for a friend in South Africa,

and we're facing this same nightmare.

 

Basically, there are no on-site payment options for South Africa, i.e., customers always enter their credit card details on another website, e.g. 2Checkout, PayFast, etc.

This is very disappointing, because studies show less conversions; some customers want to enter their credit card on the merchant website. If they get redirected to some gateway that they've never heard of, e.g. "PayFast" they may rapidly lose trust, and abandon the transaction.

So effectively, South African merchants are handicapped and will have fewer conversions.
This would all be solved if Shopify Payments were available in South Africa, which it isn't, and yet Shopify has the audacity to charge us 2% of all sales for not using it. Despicable. Not to mention all the other ways it handicaps foreign stores, for example the lack of multiple currency support. And yet they charge the same monthly fees as the un-handicapped stores. Shopify should really be ashamed. You suck.

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Excursionist
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Hi AM13,

 

"..much of my client base is located in the US and Europe. [...] Payfast and Paypal are available to me but Paypal only works with USD, not allowing checkout in ZAR, and Payfast has a very low maximum payment limit. If I change my store currency to USD"

Firstly, we were able to use USD as a currency, which works OK with PayPal,

but then when we tried to use PayFast, it wanted our currency to be in ZAR, which was a deal-breaker, so we have effectively dropped PayFast.

We are now trying 2Checkout, and are waiting for them to activate our account.

But actually, I don't really see the point in any of these companies, since none of them offer on-site checkout; they all complete checkout on their own websites: this creates a "trust issue", when a customer in the USA who has never heard of "PayFast" gets redirect to their website to complete payment.
Contrast that with PayPal, whom almost everyone in the USA is familiar with and have greater "trust" in.
Therefore, we will probably just stick to PayPal Express as a checkout method.

The problem we then ran into, was that it doesn't show the credit card logos:

PayPal - credit card logo.png

I hope some of this is helpful,

and yeah, Shopify should be ashamed of the way they treat merchants in developing nations; these countries are already handicapped when it comes to doing business online, and Shopify just make it so much harder.

 

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Community Moderator
Community Moderator
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No worries at all @AM13, glad to know it helped you. 

 


The only question I have now is whether Paypal Express will work. It's listed as an option in SA but when I "check out" in test mode it says it doesn't support my currency. I guess I'll have to contact them directly?

That's exactly right. Your best bet here is to talk to PayPal directly about this. Shopify wouldn't have any control or say over a third party payment gateway and which currencies they support. 

Nick | Community Moderator @ Shopify
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 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
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Tourist
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Hi L

 

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Excursionist
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Hi

We are still submitting verification documents for 2Checkout, so its gateway isn't live/connected for us yet,

so indeed we are waiting to see what the deal is with currency.

I did notice however, that for their withdrawl options, the options are basically PayPal, or Wire Transfer,
and this strongly implies that USD is going to be OK.
Other South African gateways insisted we have our store in ZAR, which doesn't work well for us, because we're not really trying to pass as a South African store; the only reason it's a South African store is because the merchant is in South Africa, and will want the funds to end up in his South African bank account -- that's literally the only reason).

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Tourist
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Hi,

 

I hope it works out, it would be great to find a smooth solution in the end. I've just sent an inquiry to them. I was just wondering if the percentage they charge is including or on top of Paypal's usual percentage per purchase. If it's on top of, that would be like 13% per purchase...

 

Your merchants issues and end goal are definitely inline with mine. Thanks for sharing your info with me, I really appreciate it :)

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