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Although cash has always been king in Africa, the payment landscape on our continent is gradually changing.

The preferred local payment method in Nigeria in 2019 are card payments with 27% of all travel transactions performed by credit cards, according to Amadeus’ latest research, Travel Payments Guide 2019. Cash is only the second most popular option with 24% followed closely by bank transfers with 23% of all transactions.

In South Africa, card payments are clearly taking the payment crown with a whopping 41% of all travel transactions being done by credit card. Bank transfers (20%) are the second preference, followed by E-Wallet with 17% of the transactions. Cash is the least preferred payment option for South Africans, with only 11% of transactions paid in cash.

What is clear throughout the Amadeus research is that new payments are rapidly growing in popularity and importance, while traditional methods are not going away any time soon.

Having an overview of payment information for each market can outline local opportunities and help travel sellers understand local consumer preferences so that they can better shape their payment strategy.

The payments process is central to the customer experience in many industries – perhaps more so in travel, Bart Tompkins, Managing Director, Amadeus Payments explains in the report.

A payment is not just a transaction; it’s an experience. Online, on the phone or in-person, customers want a fast, smooth, seamless buying process. Cost, convenience, culture, personal preference and security concerns all influence the payment methods consumers choose. One size never fits all.

The challenge for travel merchants is providing as smooth a customer journey as possible across the payments they accept – and to offer the choices that customers desire.

Local payment methods play a vital role in many countries. If you want to succeed in any country, first you have to understand it. Money talks, and you need to be able to communicate in the right language.

If you would like more information, read the Amadeus study here.