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Startup Grind Cape Town Hosted Jonathan Smit (PayFast)

Jonathan Smit, a techie from birth, took a leap of faith on starting Payfast back in 2007 when the idea of secure online payments was still a pipe dream. As such, he tackled Payfast with his famous “screw it, let’s do it!” attitude and did some grinding. With his belief that online payments could one day truly be safer than offline payments he set out to change the mind-set of the masses. Even though the e-commerce numbers in South Africa are small, he believes that one shouldn’t give up as they are growing by the day.

— Shani van der Merwe (@shanivdmerwe) February 20, 2014


You name it, Jonathan has seen and done it all - from people trying to sell number plate turners to being called in to the Reserve Bank. Somehow he managed to stay down to earth while trying to make it happen for himself and his team. He describes his leadership style as informal but clear and prefers to deal with things as they happen. His belief is that as an entrepreneur you aren't playing with life, you are playing with years.