Apple Pay launches in South Africa - This is why it matters

File picture: Pexels

File picture: Pexels

Published Mar 30, 2021


Cape Town - Apple Pay has finally launched in South Africa, giving Apple users a safer and more convenient way to pay.

Apple Pay means you can make contactless, secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web.

All customers have to do is hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near a payment terminal to make a contactless payment.

This is especially crucial in this pandemic era, as we are all conscious of what we touch and transmission on surfaces.

Apple Pay users can also send and receive money from friends and family right in Messages. Discovery Bank clients are amongst the first to receive confirmation that Apple Pay is now working in South Africa. Here’s what Discovery Bank clients can do to get started:

– Link your qualifying Discovery Bank card to Apple Pay using the Discovery Bank app or Apple Wallet app before midnight, 31 March 2021.

– Spend with Apple Pay using your Discovery Bank card before midnight, 6 April 2021.

How to set up your Discovery Bank card on Apple Pay

Once you have added a transaction or credit card account, add a free virtual card and set up Apple Pay through the Discovery Bank app.

The app automatically enters your card details and verifies your identity.

Log in to the latest version of the Discovery Bank app. If needed, update the Discovery Bank app.

Find the card you want to add to your Apple Wallet. Tap Add to Apple Wallet and follow the instructions.

Using Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is available on most iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, as well as Macs, so you can make easy and secure contactless payments using any compatible Apple device. Repeat the above process to set up Apple Pay on your Apple devices.

As contactless payment in the future, look out for the contactless payment sign or the Apple Pay mark to pay in-store, in-app or online and pay using your Apple device.

ABSA is one of the first to offer Apple Pay.

“As South Africa deals with heightened hygiene and health requirements, a record number of customers have adopted and embraced digital transactions,” said Cowyk Fox, Managing Executive: Everyday Banking, Absa Retail, and Business Bank.

“Last year alone, Absa witnessed a 200% increase in contactless payments for the year, while e-commerce levels doubled. In a tangible display of our commitment to provide customers with world-class payment options, Absa is one of the first South African banks to offer Apple Pay. Customers can now link their Absa cards through the Absa Mobile Banking App and still receive all the rewards and benefits offered by Absa’s cards.”

Safety and security

There is no need for security concerns as every Apple Pay purchase is authenticated with Face ID, Touch ID, or device passcode, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code for extra measure.

“Security and privacy are at the core of Apple Pay. When customers use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element, an industry-standard, certified chip designed to store the payment information safely on the device,” said ABSA in a statement.

Apple Pay is widely accepted in grocery stores, pharmacies, taxis, restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores.


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