Google Wallet is now available to South Africans

The Google Wallet app, which offers all the features of a physical wallet but in a safer digital format, has just been launched in South Africa. This includes keeping and utilizing credit cards, loyalty cards, and airline boarding tickets, with more capabilities being introduced over time.

Since more and more individuals are using their mobile phones for regular financial transactions, Alistair Mokoena, country director for Google SA, stated that having access to technology is essential for economic growth.“At Google, we have learned that great things happen when technology works for everyone,” he said.

Google Wallet is easy to use. It will automatically show up in Google Wallet if you have a credit or debit card registered to your Google account. All you have to do is activate it for contactless payments using the instructions given.

You can choose the “Add a card” option in the carousel at the top of the wallet app page to add a card to the wallet if you don’t already have one saved. Your card will be tokenized and ready for use once you have accepted the terms and conditions and had your card information validated. Once that happens, you can use it to tap and pay both in-person and online in any location that displays the Google Pay or contactless icon. Digital objects can also be added easily and frequently with only a few clicks, including boarding tickets from airlines.

“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),” Mokoena said.

“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,” Mokoena said.

FirstRand Bank, Discovery Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, Absa, and Nedbank customers can now connect their cards to Google Wallet and use them to make payments using their Android phones or Wear OS devices everywhere that accept contactless payments (in-store, in apps or on the web).

The roll-out is a part of a larger plan to make the service available in many more markets across the world, according to Dong Min Kim, the global product director at Google for Google Wallet, who spoke to South African journalists on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s debut.This comes after its debut in 39 new markets in July. The launch cycle for this week is shared by South Africa, Iceland, Serbia, Qatar, Moldova, and Azerbaijan. More nations will do the same.

According to Min Kim, Google is speeding up the global roll-out of Google Wallet as a result of customers’ “generational shift” away from conventional payment methods. ”The chance to reinvent how people pay online, in stores, and what they carry in their wallets has been created,” he said.

Google Pay needs customers to touch to pay with their phones at a point of sale, then verify themselves using a fingerprint, their face, or a Pin, just like rival systems like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Huawei Pay.

As Google collaborates with partners to bring these to market, South Africa will get access to event tickets, boarding permits, and store loyalty cards. KLM, United, Air France, and Singapore Airlines are already available to South Africans as international airline partners. We’re attempting to broaden our partner network, Min Kim stated.

How it works

  • Those who already have a credit or debit card saved to their Google account will have it automatically appear in Google Wallet. All they need to do is set it up for contactless payments by following the steps on the screen, Google said.
  • If users don’t have a card saved and would like to add a new card to Wallet, they can select the “Add a card” prompt in the carousel at the top of the wallet app page and they will be prompted to review and accept the issuer terms and conditions before use.
  • Once they have accepted and verified their card information, their cards will be tokenized and ready for use in Google Wallet. They will then be able to use them to tap and pay in stores and pay online wherever the Google Pay or contactless symbol is visible.
  • Adding digital items to Google Wallet (like boarding passes) is also fairly simple. For example, after completing the purchase of a flight on an airline website, users will see a button labelled “Add to Google Wallet” that will create the digital version of that item in their Wallet.

US/Russia sunctions  effects on Google

Users of cards issued by Russian banks that have been sanctioned as a result of the Ukraine crisis will not be able to use Google Pay or Apple Pay, according to a February statement from the Russian central bank.

As a result of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, both digital heavyweights banned their operation in Russia, but they both eliminated a loophole in March that allowed Russians to continue using their respective mobile wallets.

Tech giant Google has prohibited Russian consumers from downloading paid apps from the Google Play Store in order to put pressure on the Russian Federation for its actions in Ukraine. Apparently, the modification took effect on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

According to reports, these moves are a part of the US’ “compliance measures” after several sanctions on Russia were put in place. Google also prohibited the publication of updated or brand-new premium applications. Google previously declared that Russian Android users would no longer be able to purchase apps and games from the Play Store on March 10.

Prior to the most recent change, developers could update their premium apps, but that function has since been removed. Subscriptions from current users will be active until the conclusion of the current billing cycle. Following that, developers may offer a grace period of up to 30 days. Google, however, suggests that developers eliminate premium subscriptions from their Russian-focused products. As part of this update, the most popular paid apps and games were also taken out of the Russian Play Store. However, the Play Store’s “free” section has not changed.

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