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Google Pay ready to compete for slice of SA’s bustling Fintech market

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
South Africa , 05 Sep 2022

Mobile payment service Google Pay has gone live in South Africa, enabling in-app, online and in-person contactless payments from Android mobile phones, tablets or connected watches.

The development is expected to bump up tap-and-pay transactions in South Africa, with global payments switch service MasterCard powering up Google Pay payments.

Google Pay enables users to transact with a virtual card number or token which, according to Google, means that a user’s financial information is kept safe.

Users of the new platform store their cards for Google Pay within Google Wallet, a digital wallet that also recently launched in South Africa.

South Africa is considered a major market for contactless payments and according to MasterCard’s New Payments Index, 52% of South African consumers have used smartphone and digital tap-and-pay platforms in the past year.

MasterCard stated: “This trend is set to continue with 60% of South African respondents saying they are likely to tap a smartphone to pay in the coming year, with comfort and security key to growing adoption.”

Alistair Mokoena, South Africa manager for Google, said “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 utilise a variety of passes. We want to make digital wallets accessible to everyone through fast, secure access to their everyday essentials.”

Gabriel Swanepoel, Southern Africa manager at MasterCard, added: “We are excited to work with Google to deliver a payment experience that is both simple and secure, in turn speeding the adoption of digital payments in South Africa. We understand that consumers want to make digital payments when, where and how they want.”

The South African market has also attracted Apple Pay, while a host of banks offer similar transactions.

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