16 May 2023

Seamlessly accept online card payments with Stitch

As the most common digital payment method, familiar to and trusted by consumers, online card payments have become a necessary starting point for almost any business operating in South Africa's digital ecosystem. 

Grant James, Head of Sales

|7 Minutes, 6 Seconds read

Although cash retains a stronghold in the South African market, online card payments have shown steady growth over the past few years. Almost 50% of respondents in our Consumer Digital Payments Preferences report indicated they prefer to use Credit or Debit Cards to make online purchases.

Credit card penetration sits at around 10% in South Africa, with 58.87% of the population owning a debit card. The most common digital payment method, familiar to and trusted by consumers, online card payments have become a necessary starting point for almost any business operating in the digital ecosystem.

But card payments also come with potential downsides like higher fees and risk of fraud.  Benefits that help businesses keep these risks at a minimum while enabling a more seamless backend system can set one card payments processor apart from another - and ultimately drive higher performance for your business.

Now a full, end-to-end Payments Service Provider, Stitch offers a Card product designed with flexibility and functionality, enabling our clients to manage everything from reconciliation to chargebacks, programmatically via API. It can also be easily added alongside other payment methods with a single integration.

Introducing Stitch Credit and Debit Card processing

Specifically created for businesses with complex payments needs, Stitch Card offers a high level of customisation as well as options for once-off and recurring flows, enabling our clients to tailor the product to suit their specific needs and cater for their customers’ expectations. 

Once-off flows for guest or returning checkout

Clients have the option to offer two types of once-off flows - with or without the ‘remember me’ option, which enables one-click payments whenever returning customers come back.

1. Once-off with “remember me” functionality

A new customer can make a 3D-Secure authenticated payment and opt to have their card details remembered in their browser, so they can pay in one click whenever they return, without re-entering their details.

Stitch Card - remember me-Post-1.png

Ideal for e-commerce businesses looking to offer a seamless and frictionless checkout experience, this flow optimises conversion + retention.  

2. Once-off without “remember me” functionality

A new customer can make a 3D-Secure authenticated payment and opt for their details not to be remembered in future sessions. Optimal for e-commerce platforms offering guest checkout, a customer would go through the same flow when making future payments and re-enter their card details.

3. Returning user flow with “remember me” functionality enabled for subsequent payments

A returning customer that previously ticked ‘remember me’ would be presented with their previously entered card details and can choose to pay with it without any manual input or extra steps. This flow is best suited for wallet-based businesses with frequent customer deposits, or e-commerce businesses with repeat customers.

Stitch Card - returning 2.png

Recurring flows

Clients also have the option to offer recurring payment flows for returning users. In this case, a merchant can choose to tokenise a card for subsequent payments during onboarding without pulling a payment, and enable headless or user-not-present payments using the card token.

1. First-time users: tokenisation of card details without initial payment

This is best suited for merchants who want to link a customer’s card during the onboarding process, without pulling a payment at the time of storing their details. This might be useful, for example, in ride-sharing apps or scan-to-pay apps, where a user needs to add a preferred payment method before they can use the product.

In this case, a token is returned to the merchant, enabling them to charge the card in the future without requiring additional input from the user.

2. Returning user payments

Once a card has been tokenised, merchants can make a payment request with that user token. The customer’s card is linked to this token and can be charged without the user being present. This can be used for subscription-based and recurring payments.

Stitch Card - tokenised returning.png

Post-payment flows

Following successful payments, it’s important to be able to easily refund users and manage chargebacks. Stitch is the first payments processor in South Africa that enables clients to manage chargeback disputes programmatically via API, significantly reducing administrative burden.

This removes the need to manually manage chargebacks, empowering clients to view and respond to all of their disputes via a consolidated dashboard. Clients can also easily send refunds to the card or account used to pay-in, and view all transactions on a single dashboard. 

What to look for in a Debit and Credit Card Payments Service Provider

Enterprise businesses have a number of options when it comes to their online card payments provider, but there are optimisations that can set one provider apart from another.

Some of the biggest issues our clients face with processing card payments include: 

  • The integration process and developer resources required to turn on a new provider
  • Limited oversight of cash flow and/or challenges managing reconciliation across banks and providers
  • A cumbersome, manual chargeback process
  • High instances of failed payments and fraud
  • Complex fee structures that eat away at potential revenue

Stitch Card has been designed with a high level of functionality, customisability and reliability to help our clients tackle these challenges and keep growing their business.


  • Programmatic reconciliation. Free your finance teams with automated, digital recon on all card transactions. Reconcile card transactions alongside other payment methods in one place
  • One integration. Accept payments via card, Instant EFT, cash, manual EFT or debit order with a single integration, enabling standardised reporting with our payments orchestration system, PayOS 
  • Fully integrated tech stack. We are directly integrated across the payments stack, so we can offer higher reliability and better performance than other providers
  • Transparent costing model. We give our clients full visibility of their underlying interchange cost (IC) and charge a fixed margin. This means any savings on IC are passed to the client
  • Next-day settlement. Default next-day settlement for enterprises improves cash flow and makes reconciliation faster
  • Increased fraud protection. With our dynamic 3D-Secure functionality, you can decide whether you want to present 3D-Secure authentication screens to customers every time they make a new payment, or just once-off, adjusting for a more seamless user experience  
  • Own your own network tokens. This means you’re not locked into a single provider, giving you the flexibility to move processors seamlessly and take your tokens with you 
  • Decreased risk of failed payments. With the ability to automatically update expired or lost cards, the risk of payment failure is kept to a minimum

How businesses can leverage Stitch Card

Virtually any business accepting online payments can leverage Stitch Debit and Credit Card, to improve acceptance and conversion rates, offer customers a delightful user experience, and enjoy seamless reconciliation.

In a recent survey, we asked consumers what they look for when choosing which digital payment method to use, and which platform to purchase from. Factors relating to strong customer service, an ‘invisible’ payments experience, ease of use and security ranked highly for South Africans.

Here are a few of the key industries Stitch Card can help power:

E-commerce and marketplaces

Credit or Debit Card payments are arguably the most common payment method used by consumers at checkout on e-commerce platforms or marketplaces.

With Stitch, e-commerce businesses have the option to build their own natively-branded one-click checkout flow for guest checkout or returning customers. Customers are able to pay with a single click anywhere on an e-commerce site, mitigating the need to redirect to a checkout page.

Additionally, our “remember me” functionality enables stored card tokens, so customers can pay across different merchants that use Stitch without needing to enter their details again.

Subscription businesses

Card payments offer an easy and reliable way for subscription-based businesses to collect recurring payments, with little intervention needed from the consumer after initial authorisation. Tokenised card payments can be combined with Debit Order to offer users even more ways to pay.

Travel and tourism

Managing complex payments operations - including pay-ins from customers and disbursements to suppliers and contractors - is crucial in the tourism industry. Streamlined money operations, across markets, is key to boosting revenue and enabling a seamless customer payments experience.

Travel businesses can leverage Stitch Card for pay-ins from customers, easily send disbursements using Payouts, and orchestrate and reconcile payments via PayOS, across multiple methods, platforms, providers and geographies – through a single integration.

Easily integrate Stitch Card into your payments stack

Add card payments to your existing Stitch integration to give your customers even more choice in how they wish to pay - with the same superior UX and white glove support. For new clients, integrating with Stitch is just as easy. All payment methods can be combined via a single integration and managed via PayOS. 

Accept card payments with peak realiability

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