SA e-commerce gets API boost

Electronic shopping in South Africa may receive a boost with the expansion of the application interfaces for the technology.

On Monday, e-commerce payment provider PayGate announced that it had opened its APIs (Application Programme Interfaces) to developers as the company strives to standardise the payment gateway technology.

“The developer community is really important to us,” said PayGate’s general manager of business development, Brendon Williamson.

“We’re making sure we give them all the information and tools they need to make their jobs easy. The developer section of our site now includes a comprehensive library of technical documents as well as tested shopping carts which we are committed to supporting,” he added.

The APIs should allow developers to expand the e-commerce payment facilities on websites and increase security for online transactions.


Shopping online is growing in popularity with some surveys suggesting that the platform already makes up more than 5.2% of sales in US.

Juniper Research reports that mobile e-commerce sales amounted to $1.5 trillion in 2013, and is projected to hit over $3.2 trillion by 2017.

As more people access internet services, it is likely that they will migrate to digital payment platforms and companies have to ensure that these platforms are available as consumers demand it.

Statista reports that digital shoppers in the US grew from 172 million in 2010 to 191 million in 2013, and is projected to reach 215 million by 2018.

In SA, the growth of online payments of virtual products has demonstrated that there is an appetite for online payments that is simple, yet secure to use.

“One part of that is building sites that are easy to use and highly visible to search engines; but an equally important part is making sure that the shopping cart and payment gateway are flexible and robust enough to meet all the client’s needs as they grow,” said Michael Richards of SiteMeUp Online Marketing.

He said that PayGate offers a reliable way to build and track online payments, especially when things go wrong.

“Transactions do sometimes fail because the payments process is complex, with many different parties involved, and there are many points where it can go wrong. But when that happens, our clients need us to be able to explain exactly what’s happened and what we might be able to do to prevent the problem recurring in future.”

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