Google Wallet goes live in South Africa

South Africa has become the first African country to benefit from Google Wallet, a service that allows customers to pay from an enabled point of sale by simply tapping on their smartphones.

Google Wallet allows contactless payments from Android phones and some OS devices where the app is supported.

In South Africa, cardholders of FirstRand Bank, Discovery Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, ABSA and Nedbank can now add their cards to Google Wallet and access the tap-to-pay service.

Digitized payments have accelerated over time and Google is among companies aiming to eliminate physical wallets with its solutions.

”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.

Other countries that received the service alongside South Africa include Moldova, Qatar, Serbia, Azerbaijan and Iceland, making it available in 45 countries. It’s expected that countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt which have demonstrated a great appetite for digitized payments will also receive the service sooner rather than later.

Apple Pay, a direct competitor of the Google Wallet was also launched in South Africa last year.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to

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