January 24, 2024

Beyond the wallet: Exploring the trends and tomorrow of mobile payments in South Africa

24 January 2024: The start of the year is always a challenging time for many consumers. School fees, books, uniforms, and other expenses can put a strain on budgets. But what if your customers could buy what they need now and pay later, without any interest or additional fees?

That is the beauty of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions available through adumo, a leading provider of payment solutions in Africa. BNPL is a checkout option that lets your customers split their payments into smaller, interest-free instalments with no risk to you, the merchant. For example, customers pay 25% to 30% upfront and the remainder over a few weeks or months.

BNPL is more flexible and convenient than using a credit or debit card. You can choose from multiple BNPL providers on adumo’s aggregated platform, including Boodle, MoreTyme, Payflex, and Float. The application process is quick and easy: customers simply scan a QR code in-store to apply. It’s a five-minute digital process, requiring no documentation, with an instant response.

Once approved, customers can effortlessly complete their purchase at checkout by scanning a QR code on the payment device with their smartphone. The initial instalment is seamlessly processed, allowing them to walk away with their chosen goods  — no paperwork, no hassles. Plus, our merchants get settled upfront for the full sale, with no risk to their business.

BNPL is becoming increasingly popular among South African consumers, especially millennials who tend to prefer it over credit cards. According to market research firm Ken Research, the local BNPL market grew by 64% annually from 2019 to 2022 and is expected to grow by 35% a year from 2022 to 2027. The transaction volume is also rising, with projections of a 26% annual growth from 2022 to 2027.

News24 reported in April 2023 that Payflex, one of South Africa’s leading BNPL players, saw a 300% increase in its customer base and a 500% increase in its merchant base in 2022. The company also said that its average order value was 30% higher than that of credit cards.

By 2025, the global BNPL industry is expected to grow 10 to 15 times its current volume, topping $1 trillion in annual gross merchandise volume according to CB Insights. PayJustNow stated nearly 60% of its users returned after making their first BNPL payment.

Many retailers are increasingly turning to BNPL as it increases conversion rates by 20% to 30% and lifts average ticket sales by 30% to 60%. BNPL falls into the embedded finance category, which is set to quadruple in value in Africa during this decade.

adumo is well positioned as one of the only payment companies currently to enable the in-store aggregation and application of BNPL products, coupled with the ability to checkout at till once approved. This transactional information is then able to be reconciled in our user-friendly portal. The fashion sector, automotive, medical, hardware stores, and cellphone companies have all observed a major increase in the need and use of BNPL facilities within their stores.

Given the above growth and the level at which most BNPL players run their own risk scores and criteria, we are seeing more customer approvals. All providers do run credit checks on each customer when they apply, therefore ensuring customer affordability and not pushing the customer into financial stress. We have seen a 50% to 60% growth in basket size across two of our largest retail merchants, meaning customers can purchase more by being able to budget their payments over time.

In terms of emerging technologies anticipated to revolutionise the South African mobile payment space in the near future, PayShap is positioned to stimulate economic growth and build digital ecosystems within communities,  reducing the dependency on cash. PayShap is an account-to-account payment, making it more cost-effective for merchants versus current credit and debit card rates. The anticipated rollout of the person-to-merchant capability is scheduled for 2024, with the exact date pending confirmation.

PayShap is the first real-time payment offering in South Africa. As adumo already has the same QR technology being used by the PayShap rapid payment platform, we are well prepared to extend this payment method to our merchant base, via our mobile payment platform, when person-to-merchant payments are introduced.

adumo prioritises security and builds customer trust in the mobile payment sector through the following industry-leading measures:
  1. As an approved FICA agent, we ensure merchants adhere to the South African Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
  2. adumo is a registered TPPP (Third Party Payment Provider), SO (Systems Operator), ISO and Aggregator, reflecting our commitment to compliance.
  3. Robust data privacy practices include enforced password policies.
  4. We comply with PCI standards, and operate on a 24/7 basis with monitoring for secure transactions.
  5. Integrated providers, like Boodle and MoreTyme, employ multi-factor authentication for customer payments.
  6. Our QR code technology adheres to the global EMVQR standard (Europay, Mastercard, Visa).
  7. adumo utilises MFA for transaction approvals, typically linked to users' mobile devices, using one-time pins for authentication.

With adumo, merchants can access these BNPL solutions and more, and enjoy the benefits of flexible, convenient, and affordable mobile payments. Whether you’re selling online or in-store groceries, clothing, electronics, or anything else, we have a solution for you. Contact us today to find out more.


  1. ‘Buy now, pay later’ payment schemes are soaring in popularity I News24 https://www.news24.com/news24/tech-and-trends/news/buy-now-pay-later-payment-schemes-are-soaring-in-popularity-in-sa-especially-among-millennials-20230629
  2. ‘PayJustNow CEO Craig Newborn discusses BNPL in Africa and hitting 1M users’ https://technext24.com/2023/09/13/bnpl-payjustnow-ceo-craig-newborn/
  3. ‘Buy now, pay later’: What you need to know’ | Business – News24 https://www.news24.com/fin24/money/buy-now-pay-later-what-you-need-to-know-20221222
  4. ‘Disrupting The $8T Payment Card Business’ I CB Insights https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/buy-now-pay-later-outlook/
  5. ‘50+ Companies Pushing Buy Now, Pay Later Across The World’ https://www.cbinsights.com/research/buy-now-pay-later-global-market-map/
  6. ‘State of Fintech Spotlight: B2B contenders’ I CB Insights https://www.cbinsights.com/research/state-of-fintech-spotlight-bnpl-q2-2022/
  7. ‘Pay Later Online Shopping in South Africa’ I Ken Research https://www.kenresearch.com/blog/2023/02/south-africa-bnpl-market-size/
  8. ‘South Africa Buy Now Pay Later Market’ I Ken Research https://www.kenresearch.com/blog/2022/10/south-africa-buy-now-pay-later-market/  
  9. ‘The state of buy-now-pay-later in South Africa’ | TechCabal https://techcabal.com/2023/02/06/state-of-bnpl-in-south-africa/

Press contacts, for and on behalf of Paul Kent

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