Avoid the fraud and snag real deals this Black Friday

24 Nov 2021

South Africans are being warned to guard against fraud this Black Friday, not overspend and to make sure the discounts they're seeing across the board are in fact real value for money.

The growing trend has been for retailers to offer specials throughout November, and not just on Black Friday.

Absa notes that the top spending day in 2020 was not Black Friday as in previous years, but rather the day before Lockdown level five commenced with over R1.2bn spent on the day (using Absa-issued cards).

In fact, Black Friday spend in 2020 decreased by 31.2% year-on-year," says Cowyk Fox, Managing Executive: Everyday Banking, Absa Retail and Business Bank.

As South Africa's busiest shopping period approaches, Fox says the bank has witnessed a payment shift, with a 231% increase in contactless card volumes (tap to pay) across debit and credit cards this year.

"This year, overall in-store contactless card volumes for debit and credit cards surged by 231%, and transactional value rose by 180%. New payment alternatives including QR Payments and digital tap to pay options such as Apple Pay, Garmin Pay and FitBit Pay are also making a mark," says Fox.

But an increase in social engineering, where fraudsters or syndicates trick customers into disclosing their personal and confidential information has also been on the rise over the past 18 months.

"With social engineering (i.e. a voice call or vishing), syndicates typically pretend to be from a bank and share personal information often causing customers to "let their guard down" and disclose confidential information.

Digital payments are a great way to perform secure payments - digital or mobile payment options are 'tokenised', which means that the typical information that a fraudster might use is not available, adds Fox.

"Card numbers are all encrypted into a token that is used 'once-off' and cannot be replicated. Even if the merchant is compromised, customers' card numbers' are not stored anywhere and remain confidential."

Avoid overspending this Black Friday

How you choose to pay should not be overshadowed by losing all sense and overspending unnecessarily.

This is according to Dhashni Naidoo, Programme Manager at FNB Consumer Education who says, "Just because something is labelled cheaper on Black Friday doesn't always mean that it's a worthwhile buy."

"Be honest with yourself on what you can afford. Compare and understand the current price of the item you need, so that you can establish if the discounted price you see on Black Friday is favourable.

"Sometimes we are lured by the excitement as well as the appealing marketing and therefore tempted to buy goods simply because we are told that the prices have been reduced. The easiest way to determine if there has been a decrease is to track the price over a period of time.

Naidoo advises South Africans to remember, "Credit incurs interest. And if you're tapping into your long-term savings or emergency saving funds, this also suggests that you may not afford to be spending on Black Friday."

So what exactly is on South African's shopping list?

According to OneDayOnly.co.za's recent customer surveys involving 50 000 regular shoppers, some are a little tired of staying at home, and are expecting to put their best foot forward.

Apparel & Footwear

One of the categories that stood out was footwear. Sneaker-heads are gearing up to get their hands on their favourite brands.


Shoppers are on the hunt for their next getaway, as deals on accommodation and all-inclusive holiday packages are top of mind.


While some want to get away this year, there are those who would rather stay in and enjoy some nice quiet (or loud) time alone with their console, PC, or entertainment system.

Speaking about Black Friday and festive shopping plans, Laurian Venter, Sales and Marketing Director of OneDayOnly.co.za, says they expect smooth sailing over the peak shopping period.

"In terms of user experience, we've introduced new category tabs to make browsing easier, we've got a new customer-service centre set up for quicker information exchange around product and delivery queries, and we've expanded product searchability by introducing a new search tab on our clearance page."

Article published courtesy of Property 24

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