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Why Instant EFT is our fastest growing payment method

One of the many benefits of using Payfast as your online payment gateway is that we offer a variety of payment methods to suit your customers’ preferences. While credit cards are currently still the most popular payment method for shopping online, Instant EFT is our fastest-growing payment method, and with good reason.

The increasing popularity of Instant EFT can be attributed to a number of things, including its ease of use and the convenience of how fast it is to pay and receive payments online.

What is an Instant EFT?

Instant EFT is a quick and convenient way for online shoppers to checkout online using funds from their cheque, credit or savings accounts. Money is transferred from the customer’s bank account and cleared instantly, enabling online shopping without the need for a credit card. The entire process is seamless. All customers need to do is log in with their online banking credentials and confirm the payment with their bank. Once approved, the ecommerce website is notified of the successful payment and the order can be processed. 

When you sign up with Payfast you can enable Instant EFT on your Payfast Dashboard, allowing your customers to select it as a payment method when they check out on your online store.

Benefits of Instant EFT

Security and safety

Instant EFT offers a high level of security as it operates within the secure online banking environment. Customers can have peace of mind knowing that their sensitive financial information is protected by their bank’s robust security measures.

Integration with ecommerce

Instant EFT can be easily integrated into ecommerce platforms, making it convenient for businesses to offer this payment option to their customers. With seamless integration, customers can enjoy a hassle-free checkout experience, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing cart abandonment rates.

Wide customer reach

Instant EFT caters to a broad customer base, including those who do not have access to credit cards or prefer not to use them for online purchases. By offering Instant EFT as a payment option, businesses can tap into a larger market segment and cater to diverse customer preferences.


Instant EFT offers a quick and hassle-free payment experience for customers, eliminating the need for credit cards or third-party payment gateways. 

Lower costs 

Instant EFT typically incurs lower transaction fees compared to credit card payments, allowing businesses to save on processing expenses.

How does an Instant EFT payment work?

Instant EFT by Payfast supports 9 different South African banks, so if your customers’ bank with FNB, Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Capitec, Investec, TymeBank, African Bank or Bidvest then they can use Instant EFT to pay you online. Payfast interfaces with these banks’ online payment facilities to process EFT payments, thereby allowing online shoppers with access to Internet banking to make an EFT that gets instantly verified.

The process of how an Instant EFT payment works 

  1. When an online shopper is ready to complete the purchase on your online store they will go to the checkout page where they add all their delivery details and select to make a payment.
  2. They’ll be redirected to the secure Payfast payment page where they can select Instant EFT as their preferred payment method.
  3. They then select their bank and log in using their online banking credentials.
  4. Next they choose from which account they will be making the payment from.
  5. They will then be promoted to verify the payment with their bank on their mobile device.
  6. Payfast instantly processes the payment and notifies both you and your customer that it has been completed successfully, allowing you to process their order.

Security measures

To ensure the safety of instant EFT transactions, several security measures are in place: 

SSL encryption 

All communication between the customer’s browser and the payment gateway is encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology. 

Two-Factor authentication 

Customers are often required to provide a second layer of authentication, such as a One-Time Password (OTP), to verify their identity. 

Fraud monitoring 

Instant EFT providers employ advanced fraud detection systems to monitor and prevent fraudulent transactions. 


Sensitive customer data, such as bank account details, are tokenized to prevent unauthorized access. 

How long does an Instant EFT payment take?

As the name suggests, any payments made via Instant EFT are instant, with immediate verification and notification of payments. This means there’s no need for your customers to send proof of payment to confirm their payment, which is generally required with traditional EFT payments. Once the payment is successfully processed, both you and your customer will be notified and the payment will reflect in your Payfast account, which you can then payout into your linked bank account.

Integration with ecommerce platforms

Instant EFT can be seamlessly integrated with popular ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento. These platforms provide plugins or APIs that enable businesses to incorporate Instant EFT as a payment option, ensuring a smooth and user-friendly checkout process for customers.

Security and safety 

Instant EFT transactions are conducted within the secure online banking environment, offering robust security measures implemented by banks. However, it is essential for businesses to partner with reputable Instant EFT service providers who prioritise data encryption, fraud detection and secure payment gateways to ensure the safety of customer information.

Is Instant EFT safe?

Instant EFT by Payfast is one of our most popular online payment methods because it’s quick and easy to use and completely safe to send and receive payments with. As with all of our supported payments methods, you can be rest assured that it’s completely safe for your customers to pay you via Instant EFT with Payfast for the following reasons:

  • Payfast is a PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant service provider
  • Payfast will never store, log or otherwise misuse your customers’ banking credentials or personal information.
  • Instant EFT uses secure SSL encryption to keep all of your customers’ banking information secure.
  • All banks that Payfast interface with for Instant EFT payments require Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to be completed to authorise the payment. This can be either an OTP via email/sms; or via push notification to a banking app. Therefore, no Instant EFT payment can ever be completed without the account holder’s approval.

Comparison with other payment methods

When comparing Instant EFT with other payment methods, such as credit cards and e-wallets, it’s important to consider factors like transaction fees, ease of use, customer preferences and security. While credit cards and e-wallets have their merits, Instant EFT provides a secure and cost-effective alternative that appeals to a broader customer base.

How much does Instant EFT cost?

As with all of our payment methods, it’s completely free for your customers to make a payment with Instant EFT by Payfast. For every successful Instant EFT payment that your online store receives, you’ll be charged an all-in-one fee of 2.0% (excluding VAT) per transaction. Be sure to take a look and find out more about Payfast fees.

Factors to Consider 

Before implementing instant EFT as a payment option, ecommerce businesses should consider the following factors: 

Customer preferences 

Analyze your target market and understand whether instant EFT aligns with their preferred payment methods. 

Integration Complexity 

Evaluate the ease of integration with your existing ecommerce platform and the level of technical support provided by the instant EFT provider. 

Transaction Fees 

Compare the transaction fees associated with different instant EFT providers to ensure the most cost-effective option for your business. 

Security Standards 

Verify that the instant EFT provider follows industry-standard security protocols to safeguard customer data. 

As an e-commerce business in South Africa, embracing instant EFT online payments can significantly enhance your customers’ payment experience. By providing a secure and convenient payment option, you can expand your customer reach and improve customer satisfaction. However, it is crucial to consider the factors mentioned, implement best practices, and be aware of the challenges associated with instant EFT to make the most out of this payment method. 

Remember that Payfast offers lower fees based on your monthly transaction volumes, so get in touch with our Customer Services team if you would like to find out more about renegotiating your fees. 


Can I use Instant EFT with any bank?

Yes, Instant EFT works with most major banks that offer online banking services.

Is Instant EFT only available for domestic transactions?

No, Instant EFT can also be used for international transactions, depending on the capabilities and coverage of the chosen Instant EFT service provider.

Are Instant EFT transactions refundable?

Refund policies may vary depending on the ecommerce business and the terms and conditions set by the Instant EFT service provider. It is recommended to review the refund policy before making a purchase.

Can Instant EFT be integrated with mobile ecommerce apps?

Yes, Instant EFT can be integrated into mobile ecommerce apps, allowing customers to make payments using their smartphones or tablets.

What happens if there is an error during an Instant EFT transaction?

If an error occurs during an Instant EFT transaction, it is advisable to contact the customer support of the ecommerce business or the Instant EFT service provider for assistance.