Yoco Payment Gateway Review (Online Payments) in South Africa

Woman making an online Payment smiling

Yoco now has a Payment Gateway for website owners to accept payments online on their websites. This, to many small business owners, is like an oasis in the desert. Or when a girl that you have been winking at finally say “Yes” (Only guys understand).

I am a Web Designer and Digital Marketer. Over the years I have created websites and marketing campaigns for Law firms, E-commerce companies, Financial Institutions, Private hospitals and more. I also create courses to teach people how to create websites, check out my Free course to create a website. I have some experience with Payment Gateways and how things work online particularly from the business perspective. 

Therefore in this Yoco Payment Gateway review I am going to review the Yoco Payment Gateway and present my opinions to both the merchants, the customers and the Developers. The good, The bad and the Ugly! 

Let’s jump right in! 

Shall we? 

First things first. I do not want to get ahead of you. You might need to know what is Yoco. So let me answer it right here.

What is Yoco?  

Yoco Home Page

Yoco is an African technology company that builds tools and services to help small businesses get paid, run their business better and grow. I have been using Yoco since 2017 and a lot has changed in their product and service offering. 

Back then you would pay R2000 for a card machine that you are now getting for only R399 right here. Or you would pay almost R3000 for a card machine that you are now getting under a Thousand rand. Only R999 here. 

That means a lot has changed. They have slashed their prices and made the service better in a short space of time. Now they are offering online payments.

To learn more about the Yoco card Machine and earn R250 cash back when you purchase it at 50% discount read this post.

The best card Machine for small businesses in South Africa. 

How to get the Yoco Payment Gateway Plugin

The Yoco payment gateway is available on WordPress in the WordPress.org repository. Users can download the Plugin or install it directly on their website. 

They have made the installation process very easy. Easy peasy! Kudos for that. Believe it or not, in my opinion, It is the simplest payment gateway to install within the WordPress repository. We will get to the installation process in a bit in this article. 

HostGator Web Hosting

The downside for many eCommerce store owners to my knowledge is, Yoco does not support either Wix, Shopify, Ecwid, Prestashop, Magento or other eCommerce platforms. You gotta be a WordPress user to accept payments on your website. I hope that will change.

Create your WordPress website in this free step by step course.

Who Can Use Yoco To Accept Payments On Their Website?

The Yoco Payment gateway can only be used by Yoco merchants. Meaning, only businesses with Yoco card machines can accept card payments directly on their websites. If you do not have a Yoco card machine click here to get it for 50% discount and earn R250 cashback as that will allow you to accept payments both online and offline.

This is great for Yoco card machine merchants – those who are using the card machines already but it kinda eliminates none Yoco card machine users.

It also keeps driving Yoco’s potential clients to other Payment gateways that are on the market in South Africa like Payfast, Paygate, Peach payments and more. It means Yoco’s business model is still centred around a Card machine. 

My opinion from a customers perspective and from the Yoco business model perspective is to make the Payment gateway independent from the card machine. That way the Yoco brand can scale and compete efficiently.

How To Install The Yoco Payment Gateway On WordPress?

As said earlier, the installation process for the Yoco Payment gateway plugin is super simple.

Firstly Woocommerce must be installed on your WordPress website. If you do not have Woocommerce installed on your WordPress website or If you want to build an eCommerce website you need to contact your web designer or contact me. I will be glad to assist you. 

Now let’s install the Yoco Payment Gateway plugin.

For a step by step guide to install the Yoco Payment Gateway watch the video below.

On the WordPress dashboard. Click Plugins>> Add New. 

How to install the Yoco Payment gateway from WordPress

On the search bar type “Yoco Payments”. Click “Install” then “Activate”.

Search for the Yoco Payment Gateway in WordPress

At this stage, you need to go to your Yoco Business portal. Click Sell online >> Payment gateways and get your API keys

Yoco business portal

Go to your WordPress dashboard click Woocommerce>>Settings then Payments. 

Click on Payments in WordPress

Scroll down to the Bottom. You should see “Yoco Payment Gateway” at the bottom of the list. Click “Manage”. 

Yoco Payment gateaway setup

Click “Enable Yoco Gateway”. On mode Click “Live” to insert the Live API keys you received from Yoco.

Enable Yoco Gateway

Insert the Live secret Key in its relevant place and then click enter. (If you do not click “Enter”, You might face some challenges, and you will not be able to activate your Payment Gateway)

Click Live

Insert and do the same for the Live Public key.

Insert the Live API keys

Click save changes.

Save changes

Again on “Mode” click on Test and then add your Test API keys you received from Yoco.

Click test


Always keep your API keys safe. As safe as you hide your Password. 

Click save changes. 

Insert tesk key

That’s it. You are done. Simple isn’t it? 

You are ready to accept card payments on your website. 

Its time to test if everything is working. 

While on the Test mode. Go to your website and try to purchase something using the test Card details provided by Yoco in the email.

Yoco payment gateway popup window

Once you test everything. Its time to tell your customers that you now have a new Payment method.

Things that I like On The Yoco Payment Gateway.

  • I like the fact that the Installation process is very simple. That is a huge takeaway. 
  • The installation details are prepopulated and can work right of the bat and can be customised to the Store owners liking. 
  • The checkout process happens on your website without redirecting to a third-party page. Just like Stripe. 
  • The Popup is clean and Gorgeous. 
  • I inspected the Code. It is clean and less likely to crash or cause other problems. However, this depends on WordPress core updates and other plugins and software. 
  • I like the fact that the Plugin is an open Source project, that means anyone who wants to contribute can do so which at least keep the payments secure.
  • The payment technology used is secure. They use 3D which is a world-class security feature.
  • The transaction fees are the same as on the card machine 2,9% ex Vat.

Things that I did not like On the Yoco Payment gateway

  • The time the popup window takes for the customer to enter their card details is a bit long. I have tested it several times on my website and on other websites hosted on different servers. That must be fixed by Yoco themself as customers do not have the patience to wait for a pop up to show up. 
  • I do not like the fact that my customer still has to click a button to make the card payment. Online payments should be quick. I mean real quick. All unnecessary clicks in the checkout flow will give the customer some space to run away with the money and not buy. If the customer does not see or click that button then it means no sell. What is the point of that button if the customer has chosen their method of payment and entered their details? I will appreciate it if that button is removed and the payment window just pops up. 
Enter credit card details button


Yoco is a brand i personally and honestly love. If any small business wants to learn how to brand a business, they must study Yoco carefully. When I first saw a Yoco Ad online in 2016 it captivated me and I have been watching how they grew from a distance. 

Yoco is a symbol of hope to many small businesses in South Africa and I proudly promote it and will be happy to see it growing to international markets. The Yoco Payment gateway is a new kid on the block. It is secure and I hope it will be used by many South Africans. At this stage, the Yoco payment Gateway is in a Beta stage in my opinion. There is still some work that needs to be done and I think they will continue making it better and better as we go.


The views expressed in this post are mine, as a merchant, user, Web designer and Digital Marketer. I am not sponsored to write negatively or positively by Yoco or any other third party.  

To purchase the Yoco Card machine at 50% discount and get paid R250 cashback click here.

Let me know what you think, what you like or what you do not like about the Yoco Payment gateway. In the comments

8 thoughts on “Yoco Payment Gateway Review (Online Payments) in South Africa”

  1. The setup process is very simple, but in the odd instance where is just plainly does not work (like it is in my case) the fault gets blaimed on the hosting environment which is a standard cpanel hosting server, and no further support gets offered by yoco.

    1. Prince Chiramba

      @Henk have you clicked the Enter button after inserting the API keys? It should work and it can not be related to Hosting. Let me know how it goes, it might be interesting to know.

  2. You are underutilized by this world. It pains me that I can’t afford you Prince Chiramba.
    You are a 🌟.

    You are precise and clear, your wording is excellent.
    You are some than a web designer, you are a marketing expert.

    Keep up till we meet, online , at a restaurant or in heaven.

  3. Hi! Shabnam from Yoco here 🙂

    Thanks so much for this review, and the useful detailed how-to guide.

    We are looking into the slow performance as a priority, and you should see some big improvements in a few days. I will also look into your suggested UX improvements, Thanks so much and keep the feedback coming!

    1. Prince Chiramba

      Thank you, Shabnam Osman, on behalf of Yoco. We hope to see a great product that is unique on the market and that help small businesses to make more sales. I will be watching all the way.

    1. Prince Chiramba

      According to my knowledge, the Yoco payment gateway plugin only works on WordPress at the moment. They do not have a plugin for Shopify, but I am sure they will make it in future. For interest sake. Shopify has a lot of restrictions for plugin developers compared to WordPress, that is why many plugins are launched in WordPress and you might not see some of them in Shopify at all.

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