South Africans would rather be fired than have their phones stolen - survey
More and more people are leaving their homes without their wallets
Good old-fashioned leather wallets are increasingly being replaced by plastic, metal and glass as more and more South Africans prefer using their mobile device as a digital wallet.
On Monday online payment platform PayPal released a report showing that more than half of all South Africans with smartphones were using their devices as their preferred method of transacting.
Of the people surveyed, 46% said that being able to shop on their mobile phone has made them buy more, while 52% said that in the past month they’ve left the house without their wallet at least once, instead making their payments with their mobile device.
According to the report the majority of South Africans would rather leave their home without their wallet than leave their home without their mobile device, and three of the top seven most used mobile apps were related to eCommerce.Speaking from the Seamless Africa Conference which started in Cape Town on Monday, the general manager for PayPal in Africa, Efi Dahan, told Times Select they were expecting online sales in South Africa to reach R53-billion in 2018, “Up from R37-billion just two years ago”.
Dahan said that eCommerce growth was much faster in South Africa than in the rest of Africa and Europe.
“The main reason for the increase is the high level of mobile penetration in SA,” he said.
“Retailers have realised this and have started to develop solutions for users that are faster, cheaper and safer.“Greater variety and cheaper prices are the two main drivers for users to shop online. You can buy food, book a movie and order transport from your mobile phone so people need their wallets less and less.”
South African online sales recently surpassed the 1% mark of total retail sales for the first time.
But while the achievement was a milestone, South Africa still remained behind developed economies.
“The 1% problem is as much an intriguing opportunity as it is a daunting task, said the managing director of IT and telecoms information provider Kinetic, Terry Southam.
“The potential for growth and rapid acceleration is real.”
MallForAfrica CEO Chris Folayan said the eCommerce landscape in Africa was evolving so fast that it was “almost impossible to keep up”.
Dahan said data from PayPal found there was a huge opportunity for local businesses to reap rewards and grow their businesses “if they embrace mobile eCommerce and provide the convenience consumers all over the world crave”.“eCommerce can open opportunities for everyone and can connect you to global eCommerce,” he said.
The survey also quizzed participants on a number of stressful scenarios and found that 60% of South Africans ranked losing their phone or having it stolen as a scenario that would cause them the most anxiety and worry.
It tied with a home invasion for the highest response, and more South Africans are worried about having their phone stolen than getting fired from their job.
For video editor Bongani Khoza, who shops online at least four to five times a month, the number of available options, convenience and immediacy of online shopping made it a no brainer for him.
“It’s so convenient to purchase online and sometimes there’s more of a variety of goods online than in the store,” Khoza said.
“For example, I prefer to buy my supplements online because some shops don’t have the brands I prefer. So it’s just an overall ease of access to goods versus walking from shop to shop in the mall. Plus I can review things before I purchase them and not have to wait until the weekend to go get them. I can buy them there and then.”