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EFA - Protecting your rights as an ecommerce business and expressing your needs to the relevant government departments and opinion formers



EFA has seven Working Parties which members are welcome, and encouraged, to join.

These are:-

  • Trust – the key objective of EFA is to improve trust in ecommerce. We are preparing a Trustmark for ecommerce sites based on the highly successful European model;
  • Online Payments (in cooperation with PASA and BankservAfrica)
  • Education & Research – we are preparing through UCT an inventory of the research which exists; looking at definitions of ecommerce, and considering what research is necessary. Additionally, EFA is preparing a curriculum for ecommerce training; a Workshop to introduce ecommerce for start-up & SMME companies;
  • Legal & Representation – we are preparing in cooperation with the IABSA a ‘Legal Fact Pack’ covering 8 African countries. The Legal WP also is responsible for our representation activities;
  • Africa – Reaching out to colleagues in other countries who run ecommerce companies. We all have a lot to learn from each other;
  • Delivery/Logistics
  • Operations- Payments – We are discussing with the Payments Association of SA (PASA) how best to guarantee security for online sales; Additionally, the WP which looks at how EFA can recruit new members and retain existing members.

EFA meets SADICO on training possibilities

The Co-Chair of EFA, Dylan Piatti and I met the South African Digital Content Organization (SADICO) on 16 May to discuss possible collaboration in training SMMEs and start-ups from the townships. SADICO, which launched in 2010, provides assistance and mentors to the township youth in Gauteng who want to enter the ICT sector. The details of how this collaboration will operate is being worked out. For more information please email me ( In our training module we will be promoting our members.

Action Points Arising From the First Meetings of the EFA Working Parties, Dec 2015.


  • Webinar on the European Trustmark to be arranged in Jan/Feb;
  • Positive PR coordination. Getting members to agree a programme of positive messages to support ecommerce;
  • Establish an EFA logo & brand;
  • Payment – contact banks & payment gateways to discuss online payment security systems which are secure, but user friendly to etailers & their customers;
  • Delivery – set up a sub-group to deal with delivery issues.




  • Establish contacts with educational institutions interested in ecommerce education/training;
  • Agree a basic curriculum for ecommerce studies;
  • Cooperate with CPUT on its postgrad course on etailing;
  • Set up an event on education & training;
  • Meet & gain W&R SETA’s support.


  • Collect commonly agreed definitions, and identify best practices in collaboration with IABSA, IORMA, etc;
  • Identify what research already exists, draw up a list;
  • Meet with Google & Nielsen;
  • Identify gaps;
  • Set up an event.


  • Objective – to build a bridge between participating countries to ensure exchange of information; experiences in research, education, trust issues & legal structures.
  • Actions – with the Legal WP report on regulations relevant to ecommerce across the continent;
  • Prepare FAQs country by country on ecommerce in Africa, to cover import duties, taxes, use of agents, return of goods, legal, etc;
  • Approach educational institutions in other countries;
  • Set up an event in first 6 months of 2016 on ecommerce in Africa.


  • Comments on the EFA submissions to the Davis Commission encouraged;
  • Comment on the Davis Commission’s next Interim Report, expected Feb 2016;
  • The Director, if possible, to attend Parliament’s hearing on POPI in the autumn;
  • Delegation to meet Adv Neville Melville, Ombus of the Consumer Goods Complaints system to discuss cooperation;
  • Produce a FAQ on consumer protection rules for ecommerce in SA;
  • Produce with the Africa & Ecommerce WP a country by country report on ecommerce regulations in Africa
  • Identify law firms to work with on a pro bono basis.

All WPs to:-

  • Appoint a chair & vice-chair;
  • Appoint “WP ambassadors” from among the members to ensure cooperation between the WPs & avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’;
  • Help recruit new members.


Online Payments Committee

Notes of a conference call with PASA and BankServ Africa on Preparations for Black Friday 2018, held on 5 September 2018


Johan Buitendag  (JB)               PASA

Tshepo Rakhibane (TR)            BankservAfrica

Ernst Coetzer (EC)                     BankservAfrica

Simon Leps  (SL)                        Activate (Chair of the EFA Online Payments Committee)

Rieka van Dijk (RvD)                 PayU

Werner van der Vvyer (WvV)  PayU

Sachin Dowarkasing (SD)         Ecommpay

Wendy Dent  (WD)                    Payflex

Dustin Scott (DS)                       ACI Global

Alastair Tempest  (AT)              EFA


JB welcomed participants and said that BankservAfrica had done a great job in 2017 for Black Friday. The call was to discuss preparedness for the forthcoming Black Friday 2018 on 23 November.

Preparations for Black Friday 2018

AT asked BankservAfrica (BSA) if new security systems were being contemplated for this year?  BSA replied that it had emigrated to a new system which reduced the time needed for security checks and minimized the issues faced previously. BSA was therefore in a very good position to handle the volumes of traffic and estimated that it could handle seven-times the 2017 volumes of traffic.

Obviously, everything always depended on the telecoms infrastructures being up to the challenge.

AT asked about contact between BSA and the payment gateways which were always on the sharp end between the customer, BSA and the banks? BSA said that it would be providing details to all its clients.

There were 3 issues raised:

  1. TR referred to the timeout rates and said that BankservAfrica intended to write to the banks to consider this issue;
  2. The OTP security system would be optimized to ensure no bottlenecks;
  3. The escalation system would be checked to ensure that it was working optimally. JB referred to challenges created by bypassing the conventional escalation processes. Procedures such as the SO’s and TPPP’s must work through their acquirers. He pointed out that contact details cannot always be shared due to confidentiality agreements.

TR raised the issue of response times.

Members of the EFA Online Payments Committee were asked their views, and also what response times they had experienced last year. RvD said she would check back on this. WD said her company worked through Peach Payments and would need to check with them.

New Security Protocols

AT raised the question of the new security protocols proposed by the European Central Bank. He understood from his European colleagues that they had some concerns.

JB replied that the new 2.0 security protocol would have to be applied by 2020. It would reduce dependency on OTPs by 90% and was mobile phone application friendly. BSA said that there was the intention to engage industry fully. AT said he would check and share the European ecommerce views with PASA and BSA.

Failed Reverse Payment Study

JB said he would share this with the EFA Committee (see below).

Dates for next Conference Calls

It was proposed to have the next calls in the lead up to Black Friday, finishing with a post-mortem call the week after the event, as follows:

26 Sept at 10.00

17 Oct at 10.00

31 Oct at 10.00

14 Nov at 10.00

21 Nov at 10.00

26 Nov at 10.00.

From Johan Buitendag

“As promised, below is an update on the Failed Reversal project as requested by Alastair.

  • A meeting was held with the Project Team on the 23rd of August 2018 and the following had been discussed and agreed as the way forward on the Project until closure
  • Acquirers and Issuers that had any Test Cases that had been failed as part of the Test Phase had been engaged with. All Banks that had issues to resolve confirmed via e-mail that they have resolved all issues identified during the Test Phase. This deliverable on the Project had therefore now been completed
  • A capability for retailers to log failed reversal related incidents directly at PASA had been created. This allowed for actual incidents to be investigated. A generic e-mail address and a template to be completed by retailers had been created. A communication went out to the Stakeholder Forum on the 10th of April 2018 and this was also forwarded to the Project Team to note. A reminder of this had also been forwarded to the Stakeholder Forum. Only one incident had been logged to date, had been investigated and resolved by the applicable Banks. This capability had only been available to the end of June 2018 and now no longer exists
  • Questionnaire drafted with specific information that had been completed by Acquirers, Issuers and PSOs to then determine some critical pieces of information in the reversals lifecycle. The findings of this had been discussed and there are recommendations forthcoming from this that had been agreed during the meeting
  • BankservAfrica had been engaged. BankservAfrica manually extracted MI and provided as a once off. This information had been discussed and according to this there is only a 3% failure of reversals not being done immediately or within the first 5 minutes. It was therefore agreed that further industry efforts to attempt to resolve a 3% issues is not of value
  • It was indicated that BankservAfrica did some major changes to the manner in which they dealt reversals, that contributed heavily to resolving many reversal related issues. This will be documented in detail in a presentation that will indicate the way forward for this Project
  • Next steps:
  • It had been agreed that there are no further actions required from a Project perspective
  • From a Project perspective the Project Manager and Business Analyst will draft a presentation to indicate clearly what had been done as per the bullet points above
  • From the bullet points above there are now certain recommendations that will be done only and no further Project activity is suggested
  • The recommendations will basically be the following:
  • Acquiring Banks that have terminals as part of their POS estates that are not doing immediate reversals currently, will need to attempt to replace these as soon as possible, or during the next software version update, ensure that software caters for immediate reversals. This can however not be mandated or driven from a Project perspective and will need to be done on a best effort from Banks only
  • It will be recommended that all Issues need to ensure that the receive reversals, apply these and then also communicate to their Cardholders accordingly. This can however also not be mandated and will be done on a best effort only
  • It would be recommended that all Issuers and Acquirers attempt to align to timeout values as prescribed by BankservAfirca, MasterCard and Visa as these are not currently aligned
  • After these recommendations it will also be suggested that this Project be closed and that future issues identified be dealt as BAU via the incident process.”


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