You can now use store cards from the likes of Game and Supa Quick to buy online at many shops

Credit card blanks. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)

  • You can now use a Makro store card to buy Lego online, among many other combinations.
  • PayFast, which provides a payment gateway to thousands of online shops, has partnered with RCS, which provides stores with in-store-credit cards.
  • That means any of the RCS store cards can be used at any PayFast merchant, unless they opt out.
  • Merchants pay the same fees as they would accept normal credit or debit cards.
  • You just won’t be able to buy tobacco or unregulated crypto with your store card.
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A partnership between two retail financial companies means you can now pay for online shopping at a large network of stores with cards issued by a group of large-chain physical stores in South Africa.

You could, for instance, buy Lego online using a Makro store card, or use a card from tile retailer CTM to buy fabric from Hertex.

For the buyer and merchant both there is little difference between such transactions and using a standard debit or credit card.

For merchants too there is little difference; they pay the exact same fees they would had they accepted a standard credit or debt card for payment.

The only catch is a list of forbidden goods to store-card users, including tobacco, pornography, and unregulated crypto assets, and religious organizations can’t take money from them either.

The new payment option comes via a partnership between RCS, which issues private-label and co-branded cards for major retailers, and PayFast, a payment gateway provider for a large number of independent online shops as well as major malls such as Takealot.

PayFast merchants have been automatically opted into accepting store cards, which means just about 40,000 stores now accept store cards, the companies said in a statement this week.

The cards accepted by those online stores are RCS’s own-brand store card, as well as

  • Game Mystore Card
  • Makro Credit
  • Builders Store Credit
  • Cape Union Mart Group Card
  • Keedo Store Card
  • Old Khaki Store Card
  • Poetry Store Card
  • Tread+Miller Store Card
  • VIP Store Card
  • CTM Store Card
  • Contempo Store Card
  • Supa Quick Store Card

For buyers, the store cards work much like any credit or debit card does: they punch in the card number, then a one-time password is sent to the associated phone number. The credit and payment terms, and management of the account, remain the same for such online transactions.

For merchants too there is little difference in accepting the store cards; Unless they have a specially negotiated deal, they’ll pay PayFast 3.5% of the transaction value plus R2, the same fee as for standard debit and credit cards.

More people have store cards than have credit cards, says PayFast, so the deal opens up online shopping to a bigger audience. RCS says it has 2.5 million people actively using store cards.

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