PayFast is Generating an Error Message When You Try to Pay Invoices

The scene:
You prefer to pay your invoices using PayFast, but every time you attempt to pay via this client you receive an error message. The message says something about the username or merchant ID only being able to contain certain characters.

The solution:
PayFast’s settings only allow for the use of letters, numbers and certain characters in the names of the people using its platform. Whereas us here at DigiHost allow the use of brackets (), PayFast does not, and any names with brackets in them will populate this error.

When you register with us, please make sure your client name (i.e. Joe Soap) is separate from your company name (i.e. Joe Soap (Pty) Ltd). If you have your client name as your company name, PayFast will populate the error message because it doesn’t like the brackets in (Pty) Ltd.


It appears that this might be a newer setting of PayFast’s, perhaps due to any updates on their side.

If you have registered with us previously, and need to change this information because PayFast is now generating error messages, drop us an email at support@digiworks.co.za and we will change the client name to reflect the name of your choosing – either yourself, or the CEO, or the chairperson or the accounts manager of your company.

Should you encounter any other error messages from PayFast, please also drop us a line so we can investigate – but in this case it would be best if you would raise a ticket.

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