ABSA Bank Reports Strong November Sales Amid Extended Black Friday Deals

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ABSA Bank has witnessed a robust month of sales in November, reporting a notable 16% increase in the volume of transactions processed through its payment systems compared to the same period last year. The surge in sales is attributed to the extended Black Friday season, with retailers adopting a strategy of discounting throughout the month, turning it into more of a “Black November” than a concentrated Black Friday event.

Vish Chetty, Executive for Payments Acceptance at ABSA, noted that customers started transacting as early as November 1, emphasizing the month-long nature of the sales event. E-commerce transactions have also seen a significant uptick, with a 20% increase in card-not-present transactions and online virtual payment acceptance across the industry.

Chetty stated, “It has been more of a black November as opposed to just a Black Friday running up to Cyber Monday.” He highlighted the positive impact of frictionless payment acceptance on both merchants and customers, making it easier for individuals to purchase goods and services.

While consumers face economic pressures due to high inflation and interest rates, ABSA sees recent retail activity as positive, signaling a turning point for the economy. Despite the challenging economic conditions, customers have eagerly taken advantage of the month-long specials, reflecting an increased willingness to engage in purchasing activities.

Chetty added, “Customers, despite it being really tough in the economy, have looked forward to these specials, and I think that’s why we’ve seen activity from the 1st November and not just concentrated on Black Friday.” The extended discount period has provided customers with more opportunities to access discounted prices on goods and services.

However, the Reserve Bank has cautioned that while household disposable income has grown, the pace has been slow. In light of this, consumers may adopt a more selective approach to purchasing, especially as interest rates remain high, and a reluctance to take on additional debt prevails. The ongoing balance between economic challenges and consumer spending behavior will likely continue to shape the retail landscape in the coming months.

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