In 2020, the South African e-commerce market grew by 66% and is now expected to be valued at Rand 225 billion by 2025.
As small businesses move into digital commerce, begin the search for online payment methods that can offer security and reliability at a rate that maintains realistic profit margins.
Now fintech company iKhokha hopes to fill this gap with its first foray into online payments.
Known for its card machines, iKhokha is now launching into e-commerce with the launch of the IKhokha payment gateway. The payment solution is the first in a series of products in the iK Pay online stable – a proposed suite of e-commerce solutions for small businesses.
According to Andrew Roy, iKhokha Product Manager, the shift to online payments was born out of the need to enable merchants to process payments for all facets of their business under the iKhokha umbrella.
“It’s part of a larger ecommerce strategy,” says Roy. “This is the first in a series of products that we will be developing over the next five years. We identified that most of our merchants are WooCommerce and WordPress users, so we thought this was a good place to start.
Although identifying the opportunity was the first step, iKhokha still had to integrate the necessary resources, upgrade their skills, and complete the construction of the online payment gateway within a tight deadline.
“We not only built the product, but we also built the team. We made sure that the team composition had the relevant full-stack and front-end development capabilities that we needed to bring the product down the line, ”says Roy.
“It was really about integrating the team members halfway through the project and honing them to get them to contribute quickly to the solution. “
The result is a WooCommerce and WordPress compatible payment plugin that was built in-house in just under nine months.
“We built a payment architecture based on micro-services, which involved integrating with our acquiring bank for processing payment messages, and creating the test environments we needed for the solution,” explains Roy.
“Safety is of the utmost importance to us. We needed to make sure our solution was PCI compliant and 3D secure. We also had to make sure that our architecture could accommodate large volumes to accommodate our traders.
To test the solution in a real environment, the iKhokha team reached out to known e-commerce merchants in their database and offered them the lowest transaction rate in Africa to participate in the beta program before they released it. market.
“We identified a beta group of a small subset of merchants to whom we offered lower transaction rates to test the solution. We then made a small number of iterative improvements over time, until we felt we had received enough feedback to be confident in the robustness and safety of the product, ”says Roy.
The WordPress payment gateway plugin – which recently launched in beta – has already processed over a quarter of a million Rand of merchant transactions.
iKhokha aims to accelerate product adoption in the coming months by providing small businesses with competitive transaction rates that enable them to sustainably participate in the digital economy and capitalize on the growth of e-commerce.
The iKhokha payment gateway is now available for free download at WordPress and WooCommerce. For more information about iKhokha payment gateway and iK Pay Online, please visit www.ikhokha.com/pay-online.