27 Jan SOUTH AFRICA AND DIGITAL PAYMENTS - Crypto Exchanges In South Africa And How They May Impact Online Payments For Multinational eCommerce Companies

African Payments for eCommerce

This is the third in an exciting new series of articles that focuses on providing multinational eCommerce companies with comprehensive information on the South African eCommerce and Digital Payments market. 

We are focusing on crypto exchanges and how over time they may impact online payments for multinational eCommerce companies launching and trading into the South Africa geography.

In previous articles we have shown how advanced and involved the South African consumer and business sector are when it comes to crypto and digital currencies.  This matches well with the mature nature of eCommerce and Payments in South Africa. South African crypto ownership is double the global average, they are second in the world when it comes to Google searches for “bitcoin”, and mainstream banks like Investec are getting involved.

Based on conversations with some of the leading exchanges in South Africa, they see themselves building the payment rails of the future.  South African exchanges we are aware of are Luno, Altcointrader, ICE3X, Coindirect and VALR. Add to this the recently launched XRP-only exchange Xago.io, and Binance, Huobi and Paxful’s planned local launches.  

It is very likely that crypto exchanges will form the backbone of cross border payments across the currently fragmented and disjointed African payment infrastructure.  Some of these exchanges are already represented in multiple jurisdictions which has facilitated easy cross border payments on a consumer and wholesale basis.  

Then the rapid growth of consumers which, one exchange GM said, is measured by active wallets ie consumers have a wallet and it is actively in use.  Imagine a world where these consumers can now send money anywhere in the world - with an email address send money to each other on the same exchange, and with a QR code send money to any other crypto holder’s address anywhere in the world.  This is the truly global, borderless internet of money that we dreamed of.  

Having said that, the usability is still a little complex for users and fiat to crypto and crypto to fiat can be costly.  So we continue to observe how consumers and business are moving to a world of digital currency only which simplifies borderless usage and will accelerate adoption.

At this stage it is for fun, learning and experimentation that our multinational eCommerce merchants enable crypto acquiring.  We are still mostly in traditional "card" and "mobile money" mode but keeping an eye on developments for you.

To get paid at the checkout when expanding your multinational eCommerce company to South Africa, please click here.