Helping small businesses compete and thrive in today’s e-commerce world

The Challenge


Being able to sell online has become a necessity in South Africa. However, the transition from traditional business to e-commerce has, until now, been a process that proved to be a step too far for small business. With many operators not having the knowledge, access to technology or resources needed to build digital trading sites, many business owners have been unable to take their operations to the next level. 

Standard Bank has identified several friction points that were hampering their merchants and decided to address them. 

The objective was to provide small/family businesses with an online tool that would allow them to benefit from the growing online commerce market in South Africa and compete with large retailers. Knowing that in-house development of a brand new digital service would be very cost– and time–consuming, the bank was on the lookout for an established and trusted product that could be easily integrated and branded as their own.

The solution needed to provide merchants with the ability to:

  • Build their own web stores quickly and easily with no IT/coding knowledge
  • Securely accept all relevant payment methods, including credit/debit cards and eWallets
  • Easily manage all e-commerce operations
  • Quickly promote their products via social media channels


The Solution

After thorough research and evaluation Standard Bank decided to partner with Mastercard Payment Gateway Services and integrate its comprehensive online tool designed specifically for small and medium businesses called Simplify Commerce. The integration, followed by full portal rebrand, went smoothly, and in June 2019 Standard Bank was ready to launch its new SMB product called SimplyBlu. SimplyBlu is a simple, secure and feature-rich platform that makes it easier for businesses to trade online and accept electronic payments regardless of the payment brand. It is the first service of its type to be offered to small businesses by a financial institution in South Africa.

Results and Customer Response

Today many small South African businesses run their online operations with this exceptional digital tool. It allows them to build their own webstores with drag-and-drop functionality and built-in templates, whilst benefiting from a unique webstore address and webhosting. It is intuitive, requires no specialised IT knowledge and is a one-stop service. Once the account is opened online it has no restrictions regarding the number of services or products that can be offered to potential consumers.

More about Gateway's small business solution

Getting started is as simple as filling in a quick online form and submitting relevant documents. Once the look and feel of the online store is selected and products uploaded, businesses can start accepting secure digital payments from anyone, anywhere.