South Africa’s biggest Black Friday spenders — including one who spent R697,000

Several Black Friday shoppers in South Africa spent hundreds of thousands of rand in single transactions during Black Friday 2021.

That is according to feedback from the country’s biggest banks about online and in-store spending by their customers on Friday, 26 November 2021.

While it’s unclear exactly what their biggest spenders bought and if these purchases were for items available on Black Friday deals, the figures nonetheless make for interesting reading.

According to the banks’ spending data, the single biggest amount spent on the day was by a Nedbank customer who had paid R697,236.15.

The highest number of transactions by a single customer was a Discovery Bank customer who made 70 purchases.

The table below shows the largest amount for a single transaction recorded by the various banks and the highest number of transactions recorded on a single account for every bank.

Black Friday spending by bank
Bank Largest amount for a single transaction Most transactions per customer 
Absa R456,512 45
Discovery Bank R614,000 70
FNB R500,000 64
Nedbank R697,236 58
Standard Bank R450,010 n/a

All five of these banks reported increases in overall spending compared to Black Friday last year.

Nedbank executive for card and payments acceptance Mpho Sadiki said the bank’s early turnover data showed a healthy 25% increase in spending across its card and ecommerce network compared to 2020.

“While card and online transactions don’t tell the full Black Friday buying picture, the growth seen across these channels is likely a barometer of overall purchasing activity for the period, including cash transactions,” Sadiki said.

Absa’s managing executive for everyday banking Cowyk Fox said the bank saw a 20% increase in payments during Black Friday.

“The most popular spending categories were essentials such as groceries followed by petrol, clothing and home improvements,” Fox said.

“Among merchants on the Absa payment network, Pick n Pay and continued to dominate card-present and card-not-present transactions.”

FNB Card’s business development head Ashley Saffy said the average spend per transaction by the bank’s customers on Black Friday increased from R576 in 2020 to R595 in 2021.

“Groceries, clothing, transportation, and entertainment formed part of the top spending categories,” Saffy stated.

Two of the largest online payment platform providers in South Africa — PayGate and PayFast — previously also shared details on the highest-value transactions they observed on the day.

PayGate said one online shopper spent R115,468.38 on a single transaction, while one card recorded 106 transactions during the day. PayFast’s largest single transaction was R169,855.

Both providers also saw significant increases in overall online transaction volumes and the total value of purchases compared to Black Friday in 2020.

Despite continued concerns around Covid-19 and many stores spreading sales over multiple weeks preceding Black Friday, BankServAfrica also reported a 10% increase in point-of-sale volumes on the day.

The total value of in-store spending climbed 17% from 2020’s R2.9 billion to R3.3 billion.

Now read: R80 million in eBucks spent on Black Friday

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South Africa’s biggest Black Friday spenders — including one who spent R697,000