While many South Africans have braved brick-and-mortar retailers in search of gifts this Christmas, there is an increasing number of people choosing to shop online.

A report from The Foschini Group (TFG) has revealed that despite fears of phishing scams, more and more South Africans are using the internet to buy their goods and gifts.

In a report on Bizcommunity, TFG Chief Information Officer, Brent Curry, said “We are seeing online stores outperforming the top offline stores, particularly @home which is trading as the number 1 store in the country.”

This fact is mirrored by a recent survey conducted by the eBucks rewards programme which found that 22% of South Africans would be doing their shopping online this year, a substantial increase from 10% in 2013 and 14% last year.

Growth in South African ecommerce is hampered by fraud which many South Africans fear, creating a barrier to entry.

There are, thankfully, payment apps that can reduce the risk of online credit card fraud. Masterpass and PayPal can be used to secure online transactions though we suggest pairing this with a good anti-virus and anti-malware tool to make shopping online even more secure.

For those shopping offline you can also make use of an app such as Snapscan so that all you need to carry with you is your smartphone, reducing the risk of card cloning or simply having your wallet nicked.

Whether you’re shopping online or braving the malls this week in the final rush to get gifts, make sure you check out our tips on how to keep your hard earned money safe.

[Image CC by 2.0 – Perspecsys Photos]