SA shoppers bought into Black Friday this year. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
SA shoppers bought into Black Friday this year. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

BankservAfrica, the largest automated payments clearing house in Africa, said on Wednesday that there was a 36% increase in transactions during Black Friday, and November may eclipse December as 2019's biggest month in terms of number of payments.

The company said it appeared SA consumers were using the 50 days’ grace period on their credit cards to spend their year-end bonuses early. The rise in transactions was not limited to consumers, and extended to the entire value chain of marketing and advertising, importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, it said.

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping campaigns are changing the seasonality of the economic cycle in SA at present, it said.

The BankservAfrica economic transaction index (Beti, which measures economic transactions and excludes in-store and manufacturers’ card transactions, increased 1% between October and November.

The Beti recorded the highest ever number of transactions of 104.8-million in November, representing a standardised value of R944.4bn in nominal terms.

The average value per transaction was R8,843 — R207 more than a year ago and in real terms, which excludes inflation, the average value per transaction increased by 1.5% year on year.

The substantial economic transactions in November mean the month could overtake December as the biggest economic transaction month in the SA economy, BankservAfrica said.

“The current load-shedding is likely to turn potential positive GDP growth for the fourth quarter into a decline. While we do not know how long the rolling blackouts are here for — or the extent of the situation — we know for a fact that October and November were positive months for economic transactions. November was a bumper month but December could be the direct opposite,” the statement read.