The best payments solution for your business.

Image Source: Unsplash

In the day-to-day life of your business, few things are more important than making sales – because without them, there would be no business to speak of! To make those sales, it’s important to ensure that you’re able receive various means of payment from your customers – and offer them a variety of options to suit their preferences. There have been many exciting changes in the payments landscape over the last few years, making it far more accessible and affordable for entrepreneurs, with mobile, flexible and “fintech” technologies having fast become the gold standard. But, it can get rather difficult to discern the best and most valuable offerings from all the marketing fluff out there. Here we’ll take a look at how to choose the best payment solution for your customers and business, comparing the best POS devices (card readers) and scan-to-pay apps, so you can get back to getting paid for doing what you love.

What to look out for?

  • Simplicity and ease of signup: A user-friendly interface is a must, and transactions should be processed smoothly, so there aren’t any unnecessary hold-ups when finalising a sale. When getting started, beware of overly complicated signups, or lengthy vetting procedures – remember, you’re the customer here, and shouldn’t have to do any heavy lifting.
  • Costs and lock-in contracts: When being charged for accepting payments, costs can rack up fast – that’s why it’s so important to know what you’re signing up for! There are typically three main types of costs involved:
    1) Upfront cost – for an outright device purchase, delivery, or setup fee.
    2) Monthly costs – charged irrespective of how much you transact, and can be monthly subscription, settlement, rental, separate banking fees, and more. Particularly when card readers are rented, there may also be accompanying contracts that require notice periods for termination, or minimum transaction balances.
    3) Transaction fees – charged as a percentage of your total settlement volume. Also note whether different fees are charged for different types of cards (credit, debit, international etc).
  • Software and extra features: Some of the greatest innovation in the fintech sector of late has been the enormous push to offer a host of invaluable built-in software and awesome features for merchants: like real-time data collection and tracking; POS software (sometimes free); access to funding or cash advances (at competitive rates); specialised capabilities like tipping and staff management; and other personalised digital transacting options like online payments, and website plug-ins for your ecommerce store. These features can make a massive difference to your business. 
  • Payment types accepted: Look at your payment needs from your customers’ perspective – afterall, you want to encourage them to spend their money in whatever way suits them best! So, is your clientele more tech-savvy and comfortable with scanning a barcode, or making digital payments using an app? Or, do they prefer using physical bank cards? Do you perhaps need to accept different foreign bank cards from an international clientele?
  • Support: When it comes to your business’s finances, you should always feel confident and supported, knowing that assistance is at your fingertips should you need it. Look out for live support in-app or online at the times of day when your business operates. It’s always a good idea to also peruse online reviews and feedback, for some real-world perspective.
  • Security and reliability: Especially when looking at independent service providers, you have to feel like you can trust them to safeguard your information and operate with inscrutable due diligence. Equally, public opinion on their general reliability and security will affect your customers’ comfort in handing over their precious details, digitally or otherwise. So, make sure you choose a company that is fully EMV/PCI compliant – which means internationally accredited best practices for cyber and financial security are rigorously upheld. 

Time to compare the various providers:

*For Mobile POS (Card Reader) Solutions:

Service Provider Yoco - Go Ikhokha - Mover Std Bank - PocketBiz Absa - SmartPay
Year Launched

2015

2013

2019/2020

2019/2020

User Base

140 000

90 000

Unclear

Unclear

# of Card Reader Options from provider

2

2

4

3

Machine Cost*

R399

R2399 (marked down to R449)

R590

R250 delivery fee

Monthly Fee

No

No

Rent for R169 p.m. (terms unclear)

Rent for R199 p.m. (30-day notice contract)

Transaction Fees

2.95% (Ex VAT) - decreases as sales increase

2.75% (Ex VAT) flat + R2.50 daily settlement fee for days you trade.

2.6% (Ex VAT)

2.5% (Ex VAT)

Bluetooth connection

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

POS Software

Yes - Free

Yes - R660pm

No

No

Extras

Sends digital receipts. Also accepts Samsung and Google Pay. Free Business Portal. Free payment link service and access to comprehensive Online Payment Suite. E-commerce site integration (Woocommerce). Vibrant community and events.

Sends digital receipts. Can sell prepaid products from the app.

Merchant portal for analysing sales and receipts. Full colour touchscreen. Sends digital receipts.

Can accept Samsung Pay. Has built-in dual SIM functionality (SIM cards not included). Sends digital receipts. Merchant portal allows tracking of sales.

Standalone (built-in-SIM) upgrade/model  available?

Yes - R999

Yes - R1999 (marked down from 3999)

Yes - available to SB customers and turnover dependent.

Yes - rental fee will be affected.

Cash advance option available?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hello Peter (out of 5)**

4.01

4.27

1.59

1.52

Interesting to note

Transaction fees can be deceiving! Example: Yoco fees are 2.95% for the first R40K turnover, and drop to 2.75% thereafter. The 0.2% higher than  Ikhokha may appear costly, but only has a Rand equivalent value of R80 p.m.). We’re of the opinion that the added cost is well worth it! 

Full cash register fitouts available. Standalone readers able to print till slips. POS App can also assist with supplier management and table-seatings. 

Allows the sale of airtime, and electricity, as well as cashback and instant money redemption. Device doesn’t have to be linked to a smartphone or tablet.

Unlike the other banks, the customer doesn't have to bank with Absa to use their device. They need only sign up as a merchant. However, this means that payout settlement will occur within 2 working days.

*The data above was updated June 2021.

*Entry-level machine – Device must be paired to smartphone or tablet, unless stated otherwise.

** HelloPeter ratings are generally skewed downward, as customers use this platform primarily to lodge complaints. This makes the platform useful to understand what people are complaining about. Interestingly, Ikhokha has Partnered with HelloPeter to prompt all users (happy or unhappy) to use the platform as their base for reviews. This is the likely reason why Ikhokha have almost three times the review volume of their competitors on Hello Peter., and thus the inclusion of more positive reviews would contribute to a higher score. More businesses should consider this measure.

***Please note that FNB and Nedbank do not publish their pricing online and require customers to request a callback. For an entrepreneur, we consider this is an unnecessary step. As such, they were not considered. 

Image Source: Yoco

*For Scan and Pay (QR Code) Solutions

Service Provider Zapper Snapscan
Year Launched

2014

2013

User Base

900,000 users and 31,000 merchants.

60 000

Monthly fee

R199

None

Transaction Fees

2.2% flat

2.95% standard (Ex Vat), decreasing to 2.55% (over R80K per month)

POS integrations

Integrated with over 27 point-of-sale systems, including iKentoo, GAAP Micros, Pilot. 6 online payment gateway partners.

Add Snapcodes to invoices, and links to popular POS software - like Ikentoo, Pilot and Tablet POS.

E-Commerce integrations

WooCommerce, Shopify, Ecwid, JS, Nopcommerce.

WooCommerce, Magento, Shopstar, partial Shopify.

Other

Can apply for QuickCapital based on turnover.

Can send Zaplink via email or SMS for payment.

Send payment requests via Email or SMS.

Payment confirmation

Instant Email/SMS

Instant SMS

Tipping feature

Yes

Yes

Extras

Zapper Merchant App:

View transactions,

live notifications,

offer vouchers loyalty campaigns and in-app loyalty cards.

Get listed on Zapper's merchant map. Customers can provide feedback/rate service. Free 30 day trial.

Merchant Portal: View transactions. Daily settlement reports via email.

Hello Peter (out of 5)**

1.74

3.06

*The data above was updated June 2021.

And the Winners are…

For a mobile POS (card reader) device, Yoco wins our vote

With Yoco, a business gets so much more than “just a card reader”. Yoco offers a superior package of free features to help make financial management and analysis easier. Their POS software package is free. They charge a transaction fee that decreases on a sliding scale (i.e. the more you earn, the less they charge), with zero other monthly costs. Plus, their online payments suite opens the door for all their merchants to seamlessly transition into the digital payments space. To boost a merchant’s cashflow, customers also have access to Yoco Capital for funding, which is paid back as they make sales through their Yoco device (no late-fees or penalties). You might be swayed by their slightly higher transaction fee compared to the competition… but don’t be! This difference equates to a negligible actual Rand value per transaction (see example in the table above) and given the huge suite of benefits at ones fingertips, it’s well worth it! This combination of factors makes Yoco our number one choice for new businesses to accept card payments. 

For scan and pay (QR Code), Zapper wins our vote

Zapper’s business solution makes it the best option for entrepreneurs to start accepting QR Code payments. They offer more affordable transaction fees, comprehensive e-commerce integration capabilities, and a formidable range of extra features and flexible functionality. Payments providers have pivoted beyond their core functions and Zapper adds excellent added value to their merchants, even equipping the to launch loyalty campaigns and in-store rewards programs. In a time where customer foot traffic has been adversely affected by the pandemic, these add-ons can make an impactful difference to a business and it’s customers. Zapper is clearly more than just a payments solution and the value extends to helping their merchants grow their businesses, making them our top choice!

About getlion™️

At getlion, it’s our mission to see entrepreneurs succeed. We start by helping them make the best decisions for their business, and sort through the clutter of offerings out there! Beyond that, we’ve set out to build South Africa’s leading one-stop mobile app for entrepreneurs, boasting Education, Rewards, Funding, an online Marketplace and more. We’ve also partnered with the country’s leading companies to ensure that our users have access to the best (and often discounted) solutions. Visit getlion.co.za and download the getlion™️ mobile app to enjoy offers from leading partners like Yoco, Zapper and others.