Google Wallet is now available in South Africa, the first market for this product in Africa, to make it easy for users to save and easily and securely access their payment cards, loyalty cards and boarding passes.
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 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.
“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,” said Google South Africa Country Director Alistair Mokoena in a statement.
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,” he said.
Google announced the South Africa launch alongside Moldova, Qatar, Serbia, Azerbaijan and Iceland, making the product available in 45 countries.
The Google Wallet launch in South Africa comes more than a year after Apple Pay entered the market too.