While the online shopping sector is growing at a rapid pace in SA many South Africans are still wary of shopping online. Credit card fraud is a definite factor for many online shoppers who are concerned that their details are being stored and up for grabs by fraudsters looking to score big, but there’s also the issue of inaccessibility. There are loads of people, myself included, who are trying to veer away from credit and would rather deal in cold hard cash and often the convenience of online shopping becomes a serious drag when you’re trying to pay via EFT. But, startup, i-Pay is trying to change all that by making it easier and more secure to pay via EFT when shopping online. I decided to test out the service to see if i-Pay is the most secure and easiest way to shop online in South Africa.

Perhaps one of the most convenient things about i-Pay is that it is used by a large number of South African online stores. With brands like South African Airways, Clinique, Woolworths, Cape Union Mart, NetFlorist, HiFi Corp, iStore, Nespresso, Incredible Connection, Takealot, Spree, Builders, and many more offering the new payment option to customers it’s becoming easier to pay via instant EFT online. I did some Mother’s Day shopping online at Takealot and used i-Pay to quickly and easily pay for my goods.

The payment option is available to all customers who bank with Capitec, ABSA, First National Bank, Investec, Nedbank or Standard Bank and i-Pay uses your bank’s internet banking functionality to make it as seamless as possible. To pay you follow a 3-step process – after choosing “Instant EFT” with i-Pay as your payment option during checkout you will then be directed to the i-Pay interface which allows you to choose your bank, log in using your internet banking details (don’t worry one of your details are stored!) and choose an account to pay from. Once you’re logged in you enter the OTP or mobile authentication you received from your bank via SMS and you’re done.

i-Pay payment

It’s a pretty quick process and much less complicated than other EFT payment options I’ve used in the past. The whole thing also feels very secure and legit as you move through the payment process. Of course, the fact that i-Pay is backed by big retailers also gives you peace of mind when using the service. Paying with i-Pay is just as convenient, if not more convenient, than paying with a credit card and it’s definitely more convenient than regular old EFT – because the payment is instant there is no need to send through proof of payment or worry about using the correct reference number when paying via your bank.

But convenient doesn’t necessarily mean secure right? According to i-Pay they use the highest levels of security to ensure your safety when paying online. While other online payment services store your details in their system i-Pay doesn’t get all up in your business but rather just acts as a proxy between the buyer and the bank to facilitate a faster, safer and easier payment process for both the buyer and the seller and your online banking login details are not stored by i-Pay at any time in the process.

I was also excited to find out that the service isn’t limited to e-commerce sites but to any business or individual who has a bank account. Which means you can use i-Pay to ensure you easily get back the money you loaned to friends and family or to guarantee payment when selling things to strangers online via sites like Gumtree. To ensure someone doesn’t attempt to EFT you for payment of goods and then reverse the payment on their side later on you can use i-Pay to instantly receive your money by sending the buyer a unique link they can then use to pay you via instant EFT.

Want to know more? Visit the i-Pay website to find out more about using the payment option when shopping online in future.