Google's mobile payment system, Google Wallet, is now available in South Africa

August 23, 2022
2 mins read
  • Google Wallet, a mobile payment system, has officially launched in South Africa today, Tuesday, August 23, 2022. It is a virtual wallet that allows users to pay and transfer money directly from their phones. 
  • In South Africa, Google Wallet is currently compatible with six banks: FirstRand, Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Discovery Bank, and Investec.
  • Google Wallet has partnered with four international airlines —  United, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, and Singapore Airlines — that serve South Africa, allowing digital boarding passes and tickets to be stored in Google Wallet and accepted by airlines.

How can South Africans use Google Wallet?

Google Wallet enables Android users to make contactless payments and store digital passes on their phones. 

It processes a payment token that must be authorised by a fingerprint, face, or pin, to promote user security and mitigate fraud. It also allows users to save and access payment cards, event tickets, loyalty cards, and boarding passes. 

Users can add payment cards to tap and pay anywhere Google Wallet is accepted or with devices that support near-field communication (NFC).

South Africans who have a credit or debit card saved to their Google account will see their cards automatically appear in Google Wallet. To enable contactless payments, they need to follow the instructions on their phone screen.


Users who do not have their cards saved and want to add a card to Wallet can do so by selecting the 'add a card' prompt in the carousel at the top of the wallet app page. 

Users will review and accept the issuer's terms and conditions before using the app. Once the card information is verified, the card will be tokenised and ready for use in Google Wallet.

They will then be able to tap and pay online or in stores where the Google Pay or contactless symbol is visible.

Moreover, adding digital items to Google Wallet requires a few clicks. For example, after purchasing a flight on an airline's website, users will click the "Add to Google Wallet" button to add the digital version of that item to their Wallet.

According to Dong Min Kim, Product Manager, Google Wallet, the Wallet will provide quick and secure access to all of South Africa's daily necessities.

I am a neurodivergent person who is interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find me on Twitter @latoria_ria.
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