SOUTH AFRICA - Amidst a challenging economic climate, South African consumers are adjusting their spending habits, particularly evident during the recent Black Friday sales. BankservAfrica reported a 6% dip in card transactions around Black Friday, attributed to financial constraints and a spread of November sales events. Despite this general decline, e-commerce emerged as a bright spot, witnessing a 35% surge in online payments.
The trend of cautious spending was further corroborated by Nedbank (JO: NEDJ )'s data, which noted an initial drop in transactions that later saw a rebound over the weekend following Black Friday. This suggests that while consumers may have been restrained in their immediate Black Friday spending, possibly due to the event falling before payday on November 24th, their purchasing activity picked up shortly thereafter.
In contrast to the decrease in physical card transactions, contactless payments have seen a significant uptick. Nedbank's records show that the volume of contactless payments soared by 47%, while the value of these transactions almost doubled, with a 93% year-over-year increase. This shift underscores the growing preference for the convenience and security offered by tap-and-go payments.
Reflecting a more prudent approach to spending, even the most active shoppers showed restraint; the highest number of transactions made by an individual Nedbank cardholder on Black Friday dropped to 64, a notable decrease from the previous peak of 100 transactions.
BankservAfrica also highlighted the misalignment of payday with Black Friday as a contributing factor to the reduced spending. This misalignment may have led consumers to delay their purchases until funds were available, aligning with the observed recovery in transaction volumes and values during the weekend post-Black Friday.
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