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Prepared for Black Friday?

Black Friday 2022 (25 November) is forecast to be record breaking as consumers face a bleak 2023, and stock up for the Festive Season. EFSA asked the Payments Association of SA if the banks and credit card operators are prepared. The message coming out of PASA is that all is prepared and that plans are in place to deal with any crises – like power outages, for example. Merchants are also upbeat. As last year, it is expected that the peak will be early morning, around 06.00, rather than midnight which had seen the peak volumes in the years leading up to 2021. The sales will also be spread out over 7 days in the majority of cases, which helps ease the load. PASA expressed some concern over new payment aggregators which may be less prepared for the sharp volume spikes which Black Friday is renowned for. There is also the question of “Instant EFTs”, which are commonly used to ensure fast payment services. FNB, which has taken against Instant EFTs for some reason, is remaining tight lipped over its likely response during the Black Friday period.

However, Black Friday comes as investors jitter about Amazon, which dropped its value sharply at the end of October on the news that consumers in the USA were returning to shopping malls as the COVID ‘stay at home era’ fades away, and other Big Tech news – particularly the sale (at last) of Twitter to Elon Musk. Musk promises a new super App (named “X”) within the next 2-3 years which will revolutionise the internet. Meanwhile his stated objective to “let the bird fly” which may include opening up Twitter to the fake news purveyors has made advertisers nervous, and the decimation of the management of the social media company has raised questions about how stable Twitter will be in the near future. The recent EU regulations on fake news and the management of social media (see our previous reports) is, in our view, likely to see a major clash between Musk and the EU authorities if Twitter stops its efforts to prevent fake news. Watch this space!

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