How online payments are helping visitors rediscover South Africa

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According to recent data from the Minister of Tourism, more than 5.8 million people visited South Africa last year and more are expected in the coming years. Travel has rebounded healthily from the pandemic and is expected to keep growing by an estimated 7.6% annually. Growth like this has been fuelled, in part, by the combination of South Africa’s weak currency, when compared to many countries in the global north, and the ease that online payments give travellers. The convenience of online payments has not only simplified the booking process but has also instilled newfound confidence in travellers as they embark on their adventures.

Michael Puffett, Senior Business Development Manager at the award-winning booking technology platform Profitroom says, “The beauty of online payments is the fact that it's not just about convenience – it's about safety too. Travellers can now make themselves less susceptible to theft and fraud. Furthermore, by offering travellers multiple payment options – from credit cards to digital wallets – hotels can also amplify their booking potential. So, it is a win-win for everyone.”

Lee-Anne Singer, chairperson of the Federated Hotels Association of South Africa (FEDHASA) in the Cape says, “It is encouraging to see local and international travel improve so much. Visitors this year spent more than R25 billion and it looks like that number will only continue to increase. Having a safe and convenient digital payments infrastructure is a key part of that growth.”

Safe, Secure, Convenient:

One of the primary reasons for the popularity of online payments in the South African travel landscape is the stringent security measures employed by travel websites. Encryption technologies, reinforced by multi-layered security protocols, are deployed to safeguard users' sensitive financial information. This ensures that travellers can confidently complete transactions without the nagging worry of data breaches or fraudulent activities.

Profitroom has recently teamed up with Callpay to enhance the safety, security, and convenience of online payments for travellers. As part of this collaboration, Profitroom plans to integrate scheduled token payments on selected payment gateways. This token will allow travellers to schedule payments on a specific date, such as seven days prior to check-in.

Andre Knobel, Head of Operations at digital payment specialists Callpay, adds, “Thanks to industry-leading encryption standards we have been able to create an incredibly safe digital payments ecosystem that blends safety with convenience. This makes South Africa an appealing place to visit as international travellers can have the peace of mind that their data is secure.”

Partners in payments:

The success of this combination has led to Profitroom and Callpay joining forces in a move that will help bolster the online payments landscape.

Puffett says, “With a shared vision of fostering innovation and bringing value to our client bases, partnering with Callpay aligns perfectly with what we want to be able to offer our clients. Payment gateway solutions have often presented difficulties for some of our clients but with our new partnership, those problems are set to become a thing of the past.”     

As part of their collaboration, Callpay accompanied Profitroom as they went On Tour in August. This gave them the opportunity to directly engage with industry stakeholders across the country, showcase their innovations, and gather valuable insights to further enhance their solutions.

Profitroom On Tour ran from the 17th to the 29th of August and included stops in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit, Hoedspruit, and Pietermaritzburg. For more information, please visit 

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Jane Young, Marketing Manager