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Yoco POS Payments – A Knifemaker Review

As a knifemaker and small business owner in South Africa, time out of the shop has a direct impact on the production/output of knives from the workshop. Fewer knives coming out means fewer knives being sold and in turn, less money coming in. Something I’m sure like me, you can’t afford.

At the first few knife shows I exhibited at (Durban Easter Knife Show, Brooklyn Knife Show) I was able to borrow fellow makers’ card machines in order to complete sales. It goes without saying, I am grateful to them for willing to accept the payment on my behalf, as I would have lost out on the sale otherwise. There is no such thing as a free lunch however and I still had to pay the associated costs on the payment, plus a little bit extra for their efforts (roughly 5%-7% or more depending on the person).

Think back to your last show, or if you are gearing up for your first show (which are excellent opportunities to boost sales by the way), you’ll find that customers are no longer carrying thousands of rands worth of cash on them. Who could blame them with the crime statistics looking the way they do? We as exhibitors also don’t want to be stuck carrying large amounts of cash around, nor pay the bank fees for cash deposits. So what can we do?

To respond to our customer’s changed behaviour and accept payment from customers, we are encouraged to follow the current trend of embracing cashless payment options.

I’ve used the below options at various points over the years, so while this post is about the Yoco card machine, I always advise any maker to have multiple payment options available. You never know when it will come in handy.

  • Geo Payments (You and the customer use the same bank)
  • Credit Card / POS Point of Sale (Yoco, iKhokha)
  • Mobile QR Payments (Snapscan, Zapper, etc)
  • EFT / Wire Transfer (simple)
  • Paypal, Payoneer, etc

At first, I was hesitant to purchase a device because I already had Zapper. As per the aforementioned multi-payment advice, I had never actually processed a single transaction through it because of the following issues: no signal, clients didn’t have the app loaded or had the app but didn’t have the correct card loaded, etc.

Additionally, if I needed to process a credit card, I had friends who could process the payment for me (albeit at a cost). Yet the convenience of owning a machine (once-off payment), having the money come directly to me, and reducing the transaction fees and time lag, ultimately led me to purchase the Yoco Pro device when it came up on a special.

How It Works

Cash flow in a small business is incredibly important and can’t be ignored, so understanding the timings from when the card is “swiped” to when you will receive your money is essential knowledge to have.

Once the customer’s card (accepts all major cards) is entered and the transaction takes place, the money will reflect immediately in your Yoco account and will be paid directly to your designated bank account the next business day (or between 1-2 business days depending on your bank). Eg: If you process a payment on a Saturday, Yoco will process the payout on Monday and it should reflect in your bank account on Tuesday. All payouts can be viewed/tracked via the Yoco Business Portal and Yoco POS app.

Rates / Fees

Previously you would have to rent a card machine from your bank. However small businesses can instead purchase a Yoco card machine at a once-off cost (no setup fees, no ongoing monthly costs), and simply pay per transaction fee. Yoco has built its business on a straightforward pricing structure – the more you sell, the less you pay.

The transaction fee for both online and machine sales starts at a maximum of 2.95% excl VAT (which is 3.39% incl. VAT) and drops as monthly turnover increases. Yoco will automatically reduce your rate after 3 months of using their services. If your business is registered for VAT, you can claim this portion of the fee back from SARS.

  • iKhokha‘s standard transaction rate starts at 2.75% excluding VAT (which is 3.16% incl. VAT) per transaction and has a R2.50 settlement fee (regardless of the amount being settled) on top of this.
  • Payfast charge 3.5% (excl VAT) plus R2.00 ZAR for processing Credit and Cheque cards payments.
  • Yoco doesn’t charge a settlement or processing fee.

Yoco’s system facilitates card payments for over 100’000 South African small businesses through their card machines, so they are a proven and reliable payment partner. Their suite of tools allows for insights, reports, and comprehensive management of your business through the Yoco Point of Sale (POS) app and Yoco Business Portal. Here are a few ways that I use not only the card machine but Yoco’s other tools and services to further help customers pay.

E-commerce Payment Gateway

Building an online presence whether via Facebook, Instagram or your website is incredibly powerful as it allows us to reach and sell to a global audience. Accepting payments from foreign-based customers has become an increasingly difficult issue for knifemakers in general (Paypal blocking accounts), so having the ability to collect payment directly into your local bank account is of paramount importance.

Yoco’s online payment gateway was one of the key purchasing decisions behind my purchase of the Yoco device. Having a digital marketing background and web development skills, integrating one payment provider or both my in-person and online payments was a huge plus. I integrated my site before the official release (beta) and since then I’ve integrated Yoco on other WooCommerce enabled websites.

Yoco is compatible with WordPress/Woocommerce, Wix and Shopstar out of the box with a custom SDK available for those using other platforms. Transactions are secure via 3D secure and tokenized via javascript for further increase the security of transactions.

The Yoco Payment Gateway is available to all customers and is activated from within the Yoco Business Portal. New customers can opt for online payments only in their sign-up and start transacting as soon as they’ve completed the integration process. There are no additional fees for use of the gateway which is great news.

Other Online Payment Options

If you don’t have an online store yet (speak to me as I can help you), Yoco does offer an Online Payment Page and Payment Link options to accept online card payments from your customers anywhere in the world.

  • The Payment Page is a simple way for any customer to pay you online. You can copy the link and add it to your invoices, website, emails or newsletters; you can also share the link with your customers directly from your Yoco App, or post the link on social media.
    • I’ve added this link as well as Zapper’s QR code to the footer of my Excel invoice template.
  • The Payment Link allows you to send one-off payment requests to individual customers, for the specific amount they need to pay.
    • I’ve used the feature for a customer in the UK and the payment came through without any issues. So it’s perfect for accepting internaltional payments and a alternative to using Paypal.

Mobile App

Yoco app is available on Google Play Store (android 4.4 or above) and iOS App Store (iOS 8 or later). Once you have downloaded the app, you can log in using the email address and password that you created during sign-up and start selling and processing payments. You can use the app to create sales, manage products, and track performance.

As we’re are typically creating custom pieces, the price may vary considerably depending on the chosen materials, but if you have standardised offerings (either products or services) with fixed prices, you can load them into the Yoco portal and quickly ring them up.

Yoco Card Machines

The Yoco package is made up of a card machine and its online suite of business tools. Other hardware and accessories are sold separately.

Yoco Go with Card inserted

Yoco Go Card Machine

Perfect for any start-up business and the most affordable of the Yoco card machines and provides all the basic functionality that you would expect, in one lightweight, pocket-sized device. Accepts tap, swipe, insert, and mobile payments. You will need a smartphone or tablet, the Yoco app installed that can connect to the Yoco machine via Bluetooth.

Take it anywhere you go and at this price (R299.00 ZAR), it’s hard to beat.

To sign up and order a card machine, you’ll need your bank account details, a copy of your ID or foreign passport, a South African CIPC number (if signing up a registered company), and your delivery address.

Yoco Neo stand alone card machine tap

Yoco Neo Card Machine – launched in 2020

The Yoco Neo Card Machine

The Neo is the only standalone device from Yoco that has an all-day battery and inbuilt SIM that is capable of processing payments without needing to connect via Bluetooth to a secondary smart device (ie: a mobile phone). The 3G SIM is loaded with free lifetime data for transactions and equipped to roam and connect to the strongest, available network provider. Like the other two machines, it is able to process payments via tap, swipe, and chip-and-pin (insert). Unlike the Pro, it does not integrate with software like Xero, Lightspeed, iKentoo, and Vend.

If the Neo was out when I purchased my Yoco card machine, it would have been my first choice. The stand-alone feature is great for knife shows and markets as you and the client transact on a single dedicated device, without needing to input anything into your personal mobile phone. The practicality of only having to keep one device charged, rather than two (card machine and smart device) can’t be overstated as power points are sometimes few and far between. Factor in “load shedding”, ugh, and the Neo is an always-on payment processing wonder child for when you’re in the dark.

At R799.00 ZAR the Yoco Neo is ready to accept card payments right out of the box.

To sign up and order a card machine, you’ll need your bank account details, a copy of your ID or foreign passport, a South African CIPC number (if signing up a registered company), and your delivery address.

Yoco Pro Card Machine with card inserted

Yoco Pro Card Machine

The professional, integrated card machine with up to 25% faster transaction speeds. The all-day battery life and a host of accessories make the Pro ideal for in-store countertop setups. Like the Yoco GO, it needs to connect to a smart device via the Yoco App and accepts all major card payments via tap, swipe, and chip & pin payments. The main benefit of the Pro over the other machines is that it integrates with Xero, Vend, TabletPOS, Loyverse POS, iKentoo and other POS systems.

At the time when I purchased the Yoco Pro, it was the only device capable of accepting tap payments and had Bluetooth connectivity, which is no longer the case.

I don’t use the available business integrations apart from the eCommerce payment gateway (which comes standard with all accounts/devices), so it is arguably overkill for my needs at the moment. Unless you have a physical store or handle numerous daily transactions, it may be more than you need to. Still one can dream.

At R999.00 ZAR the Yoco Pro comes packed full of business-ready features.

To sign up and order a card machine, you’ll need your bank account details, a copy of your ID or foreign passport, a South African CIPC number (if signing up a registered company), and your delivery address.

Other shared features:

  • Yoco requires an internet connection/3G.
  • To help you sell, you can add and customise products with photos, descriptions, prices, variants and more. You can also manage inventory in one place.
  • You are able to use your smartphone or tablet to run the app on your existing Android or iOS smart device and add products, track sales and send digital receipts.
  • To improve your customer service, you can pair your card machine with your smart device and start accepting card payments, record cash and other payments like Snapscan, Zapper or EFT, and you can run a customer tab or save a cart for later payment.
  • To better your customer experience, you can split bills and add discounts for customers, send digital receipts via e-mail or SMS, and manage refunds and charge backs directly from the app.
  • For your employees, you can accept tips to incentivise staff, create individual staff accounts, and secure staff accounts with a short PIN code.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does YOCO take to deliver?

Yoco delivers to major metro cities across South Africa, free of charge, within 2 days from signup, and within 4 days to all non-metro areas.

How do I get my money from YOCO?

All payments (either online or card machine) are linked to your existing Yoco Account, and money will be paid out within 2 business days as part of your usual payouts. You can complete your first payout after you have transacted a minimum amount of R15.00 ZAR.

How long will the payout take?

At 7pm every day Yoco reconciles your transactions for the last 24 hours so that we can make payment to you by 2pm on the next day. This payout can take 1-2 business days depending on your bank.

Yoco International Payments?

Yoco accepts international online payments. However, before you can get started with international online payments, spend some time and learn the skill. One of the ways to do it is by taking cards on your website. You need to set up Yoco payment gateway on your website. It is compatible with WordPress, WooCommerce, Wix, and Shopstar. This way, you can get instant notifications and money will be in your account in 2 business days.

What currency does Yoco support?

Yoco only accepts payments in South African Rands (ZAR). This means that goods or services need to be listed in ZAR on your website. Customers can pay with an international card, but because Yoco accepts ZAR only, the customer’s bank will do an automatic currency conversion from the customer’s home currency into ZAR.


Deciding to go with Yoco has been a great decision for me and my business. Not only can I accept card payments at any of the knife shows that I exhibit at, but now all my websites are able to transact and receive payments online as well. This added ability means I can easily sell my knives all over the world. All I have to do is keep up with orders.

For those starting out, the Yoco Go or Yoco Neo are both very cost-effective options. With 75% of Yoco’s customers never having used a card machine before, they are incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. So don’t fret, Yoco is a great way option to quickly and easily start receiving card payments.

Customers are demanding more convenient and safe ways to transact so the sooner you can adopt contactless payments and e-commerce the sooner you’ll see the financial benefits.

Coronavirus has certainly shifted business online like never before, and with Yoco you can integrate their payment gateway into your business website so that customers can make online payments in under 10 minutes.

You can sign up for a Yoco account and then order your chosen Yoco card machine or opt for online payments only in under five minutes and delivered to your door in under 3 days.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. All recommendations have been carefully considered and they are resources I have found helpful and trustworthy.