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PayFast enables Bitcoin payments to 30,000+ merchants
Posted by Jonathan S on 17 Jul 2014 10:53


PayFast, a leading South African payment gateway, today announced the addition of Bitcoin as a payment method on their platform. The integration, in partnership with the BitX exchange, allows buyers to make Bitcoin purchases at tens of thousands of online sellers, with the sellers receiving South African rand in return.

Bitcoin Screenshot

There are currently over 30,000 PayFast accounts that will be able to receive payments using the innovative digital currency, in addition to credit cards, Instant EFT and certain voucher payment methods.

"PayFast is a forward thinking company and we are embracing changes in the payment landscape by choosing to facilitate Bitcoin payments. BitX has made it easy for us to do this without having to take a position on the instrument," said Jonathan Smit, MD and founder of PayFast. "We are not really sure what will happen with Bitcoin going forward as it is still early days for the 'currency', but we’re interested in contributing to the ecosystem and seeing where it goes."

Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of BitX added: "We are very excited to partner with PayFast to bring the benefits of crypto-currency to a much broader market, especially with the very clear value proposition they bring to their merchants. At BitX we continuously aim to make it easier for individuals and businesses to buy, sell, spend and receive their Bitcoin, and this partnership is a testimony of our commitment to this promise."

When a buyer makes a Bitcoin payment using PayFast, they do it at the current exchange rate, provided by the BitX exchange. The exchange, in turn, communicates with PayFast if the payment was successfully received and the seller’s PayFast account is then credited with the appropriate rand amount.

The price on the seller’s website is still listed in South African rand and they will receive the appropriate amount, regardless of the XBT/ZAR exchange rate.

Sellers who accept direct Bitcoin payments have thus far been at the mercy of the volatile crypto-currency, or had to continuously update their product prices in accordance with the fluctuations.

Sellers enjoy numerous advantages in accepting Bitcoin payments through PayFast:

  • Low processing fees, compared to other payment mechanisms
  • Transactions aren’t subject to costly chargebacks or reversals
  • It is fast, particularly when compared to international bank transfers
  • It is international, with Bitcoin available to buyers in most markets

"Until now, Bitcoin has only been accepted at a handful of online merchants in South Africa and we're very excited to see what effect this large scale enablement will have on the market," said Smit.

About PayFast

PayFast Logo

PayFast is a payment gateway that provides a turnkey online processing service to businesses, individuals and charities. There are no fixed monthly costs to use the service, which integrates with over 50 eCommerce systems and provides a variety of payment methods through a single, secure platform.

About BitX

BitX is an international Bitcoin service provider that makes it easy for consumers, businesses and developers to access the Bitcoin economy. They provide secure wallets to store Bitcoin, exchanges to buy and sell Bitcoin, and APIs that enable financial institutions and other businesses to access Bitcoin liquidity and services.