Apple Pay and Google Wallet in South Africa- Dependent On Local Banks

Apple Pay, Google Wallet, South Africa, banks in South Africa, credit card

Contactless payment systems are becoming more popular nowadays. Technology is making it easier for people to transact. Two systems already in place are Apple Pay and Google Wallet. With successful test runs in the US and the UK, the roll out of this technology may hit African countries soon.

There’s only one big challenge standing in the way: major banks.

Tell me more about Apple Pay and Google Wallet?

These systems enable users to make payments directly and securely from their smartphones.

Apple launched Apple Pay with the belief that it will transform mobile payments through and “easy, secure and private way to pay”. It is currently available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Mobile money use continues to grow within the African market. Mobile payments are expected to increase as more people are using smartphones to transact.

The roll- out of these systems in South Africa has been delayed because of the lack of devices that support the standard. They use the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) or chip-and-PIN standard.

Unlocking Apple Pay and Google Wallet for South African consumers requires the approval of local banks.

The big five banks in South Africa control the merchant card acceptance infrastructure and completely dominate card issuance in the country. This means that the banks would need to allow for their cards to be loaded to the mobile phone apps in order for them to work.

Apple Pay or Google Wallet could be linked to a credit or debit card. Users pay by tapping their NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled phone on a point of sale terminal.

According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice-president of internet software and services: “Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you’re using Apple Pay in a store, restaurant or other merchant, cashiers will no longer see your name, credit card number or security code, helping to reduce the potential for fraud.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “We’ve placed a lot of energy into creating an entirely new payments solution.”


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