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What Goods and Services are prohibited for processing through Payment systems

Talking about the sale of pharmaceuticals online and also the problems logistic companies face when dangerous products are mailed, brings us to a little recognised fact that there are quite a few products which cannot be sold online in SA. Sometimes these restrictions depend on what form of payment you use – either Card processing, which includes aggregated card processing (Visa and Mastercard), debit card processing and the Masterpass cashless app (debit, credit or cheque cards), or Non-card processing methods include Instant EFT, Mobicred and Bitcoin.

Payment  systems

  1. Securities, business opportunities, franchises, multi-level marketing (pyramid schemes)
  2. The pre-order of goods
  3. Illegal goods or services, including but not limited to counterfeit or intellectual infringing goods or services
  4. Pirated content or file sharing
  5. Independent financial adviser services
  6. Key-entry telecom services (long distance services)
  7. Adult entertainment, sexually oriented or pornographic merchants, including but not limited to: Sexual contact sites, escort agencies, pornography, adult pictures and photos and miscellaneous adult entertainment (not elsewhere mentioned)
  8. Any form of direct marketing activities (such as, but not limited to inbound and/or outbound telemarketing activities) and travel-related services
  9. Prescription or non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines
  10. No controlled substances or herbs and botanicals used to imitate the effects of actual controlled substances, including hallucinogenic, stimulant, or opioid-like effects.
  11. Wholesale distribution of prescription drugs, proprietary drugs, vitamins, druggists’ sundries and toiletries, antiseptics, bandages, pharmaceuticals, and biological or related products. Retail sale is allowed
  12. Tobacco and tobacco accessories (A note on tobacco and tobacco accessories: The sale of tobacco over the internet is not allowed by South African Law under the Tobacco Control Act “ (a) No person shall sell, offer to sell, supply, distribute or buy any tobacco product through the postal services, the internet or any other electronic media”. This would include the sale of cigarettes, cigars, hubbly tobacco and tobacco accessories such as hookahs).

Goods and Services below are prohibited for card processing. Processing methods allowed are EFT, Mobicred and Bitcoin:

  1. Bureau de change
  2. Commodity investments
  3. Cryptocurrency
  4. Hemp and CBD products
  5. eCigarettes vaping and vaping accessories
  6. Mobile phone insurance

Source The Insaka Academy (

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Shahrain Coovadia

Shahrain Coovadia is a Cyber Security Consultant at Deloitte, South Africa. Prior to joining Deloitte she started a web-design studio, and worked at the University of Cape Town as a teaching facilitator. Shahrain graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours specialising in Information Systems. She currently facilitates web & database management for Ecommerce Forum South Africa (EFSA).

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