The Google Wallet payment and card platform have been launched in South Africa. Formerly known as Google Pay, the mobile payment platform offers the ability to save and access payment cards, loyalty cards, transport passes, gift cards and boarding passes, with support for additional items being added over time.
“Access to technology is vital for economic prosperity as millions of people use their mobile devices daily to tap and pay at stores, pay for public transportation and to utilize a variety of passes,” says Google South Africa Country Director, Alistair Mokoena.
“At Google, we have learned that great things happen when technology works for everyone. By including everyone – a dynamic ecosystem of manufacturers, developers and users – we want to make digital wallets accessible to everyone through fast, secure access to their everyday essentials.”
Google Wallet works by saving users’ credit or debit card information and allows them to pay for goods and services automatically by just tapping their phone against a retail store’s point of sale at checkout counters.
Google said that cardholders of partner banks in South Africa that include FirstRand Bank, Discovery Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, ABSA and Nedbank can now add their details on the wallet, and make contactless payments using their android phones and Wear OS devices.
The list of items that can be added to the wallet is expected to increase in the near future as Google moves forward with plans to replace physical wallets and meet the demand for fast digitization resulting from the COVID pandemic.
Google Wallet was available in 39 countries as of its launch. It is now available in 6 more countries, including South Africa, bringing it to a total of 45 countries.
“Most importantly, security and privacy are built into every part of Google Wallet, making payments safer and allowing people to transact seamlessly and with confidence throughout the day. This will allow users to make transactions using a virtual card number (a token).”
“We are very excited about the launch of Google Wallet in South Africa. We hope that people not only enjoy how easy it is to use but also how secure it is for them to transact their business confidently,” concludes Mokoena.