June 22, 2024

After more than a year since Apple Pay entered the South African market, Google Wallet has officially launched in the country, becoming the first country on the African continent to do so.

The product is set to allow users to save and easily and securely access their payment cards, loyalty cards and boarding passes.

In a statement, Google also revealed that cardholders of partner banks, including FirstRand Bank, Discovery Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, ABSA, and Nedbank, can also add their details to their 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 grow in the future, as Google moves ahead with plans to replace physical wallets and keep up with the need for rapid digitization—an aftermath of the COVID pandemic.

Google South Africa Country Director, Alistair Mokoena, said about the news “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.”

“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.”

Mokoena added that the wallet guarantees security and privacy for safer transactions. “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.”

Google announced the South Africa launch alongside Moldova, Qatar, Serbia, Azerbaijan and Iceland, making the product available in 45 countries.