New and innovative mobile payment systems seem to be the way forward for companies like Samsung, Fitbit, Apple,and Huawei. File Image:IOL

JOHANNESBURG - New and innovative mobile payment systems seem to be the way forward for companies like Samsung, Fitbit, Apple,and Huawei.

Yesterday Samsung announced that its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, will be available in South Africa. 

The payment system is now available in 24 markets.

Samsung Pay gives users full control of their digital payment journey by ensuring all transactions are secure and authenticated by the user.

The system features a defence-grade Samsung Knox security platform and biometric authentication through iris or fingerprint scanning, users can have peace of mind that their personal payment information is safe. 

Additionally, the company also said that tokenisation ensured that a user’s actual card information is never exposed during a transaction, making every payment more secure.

Samsung Pay is currently available for Absa and Standard Bank customers with supported Mastercard and Visa payment cards. Avios credit cards, British Airways credit cards and Virgin Money cards are also supported. 

Samsung Pay also supports the ability to load loyalty cards, so it’s not just about spending money; it also enables seamless point or miles-gathering.

Huawei Pay

In April this year, Huawei said that they hoped to introduce Huawei Pay in the late part of 2018, according to the president of Huawei Consumer Business Group in the MEA region, Gene Jiao. 

According to Memeburn, Huawei plans to roll out the payment system in conjuction with their own app store, streaming music service, and a cloud service.

“Our plan is in the second half of the year, we’ll have it on our flagship phones,” Jiao said.

Huawei Pay was launched in China in 2016 and allows users to tap their devices in say way Samsung Pay does to merchants devices. 

This allows you the customer to pay for your items wirelessly.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay said that their payment is easy and works with the Apple devices you use every day. 

You can make secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web. And you can send and receive money from friends and family right in Messages. 

Apple Pay said it is even simpler than using your credit card, and is safer.

But the service is still not available in South Africa and no date has even been floated around about it coming to our market. 

Google Pay 

Google Pay is another mobile payment system that has risen over the last three years. Google said it is a digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by the company to power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices, enabling users to make payments with Android phones, tablets or watches.

The service provided a new API that allows merchants to add the payment service to websites, apps, Stripe, Braintree, and Google Assistant. The company said that the pay service allows users to use the payment cards they have on file with Google Play.

The Google Pay app also added support for boarding passes and event tickets in May 2018.

The system is not  available in South Africa and according to Google France, Romania, South Korea, Italy will be the only countires to have access to the system this year. 

Google Pay is not available in African state so far. 


In August First National Bank announced that its customers can now make payments through their Visa-enabled FNB Banking Cards, by using their Fitbit on any contactless-enabled point-of-sale device.

Jason Viljoen, head of Digital Payments at FNB said: “This latest offering complements a number of our digital solutions that enable customers to conveniently make payments without the need for carrying a physical card or cash.”

To ensure security safety, Viljoen said that they have added encryption and tokenisation. 

He added that customers can rest assured that their card details will remain private and secure as they will never be shared with retailers or Fitbit.

Additionally, as an added measure whenever the wearable device is removed from your wrist you will be required to enter your wearable pass-code once placed back on your wrist in order to re-activate the functionality.

“The device stays authenticated for 24 hours or until you take it off your wrist. In addition, the point of sale device will also prompt you to enter your card PIN for certain transactions. Both your card PIN and device passcode should never be shared with anyone.” said Viljoen.