Digital Payment Solutions in South Africa

23 Mar

Cash is no longer king, and neither is the average bank card, it seems. Nowadays, consumers want to choose a payment option that suits their preferences. While the world was largely all about serving the vendor or merchant’s financial conveniences in the past, now everything is changing, and the dreams of consumers are coming true! Digital payment solutions across a variety of platforms are now available, even in South Africa!

At some point during an online shopping experience or even at the local market you have perhaps seen payment options such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. If you’re an Apple user, the prospect of being able to pay for goods and purchases using your iPhone or Apple watch probably even excited you. No question, it is exciting. The world is advancing, and while it does, it’s giving us convenient ways to pay on the move.

As a security-conscious business owner or even in your personal capacity, you will now be questioning whether all of these new digital pay options cropping up (new to SA at least) are safe and secure. We take a look at each of the digital payment solutions currently available and coming soon to South Africa below.

apple pay

There’s been a lot of buzz about Apple Pay becoming available in South Africa very soon. Apple Pay has been live in other countries for some years now and allows users to make payments with their Apple Watch or iPhone using NFC technology. The iPhone or Apple watch must be linked to a supported bank account card. Apple Pay works by storing virtual representations of the user’s credit and debit cards compatible with the Apple Pay service.

  • Is apple pay safe?

According to Apple’s website, Apple Pay is safe and secure because your actual card numbers are not stored on the device. Instead, Apple Pay assigns you a unique Device Account Number that’s encrypted and held securely on your mobile phone in a secure area.

samsung pay

Samsung Pay is not new to South Africa; it’s been around in the country for a few years already and is widely accepted at many stores in SA.

To use it, you must link your bank card to the Samsung Pay app on your mobile phone. When in-store, open the app and select the card you wish to use. Authorise the payment with your fingerprint or pin code and then hold your mobile phone over the terminal. The amount will be drawn from the selected bank card account.

  • Is samsung pay safe?

Samsung advises that the Samsung Pay app creates a virtual card account number that doesn’t disclose your credit or debit card’s real details. Because your card information is never stored or used, the transaction is considered secure.

garmin pay

Garmin Pay contactless payment features aren’t new to South Africa. In fact, in 2018, the company announced that contactless payment features were live on various Pay-Enabled Garmin watches in SA. These features were made available to VISA cardholders who banked with FNB and RMB Private banks.

Users can make a payment via their Garmin watch by entering a password, selecting the correct card from the virtual wallet and then holding their watch near the card reader. What’s alluring about this payment system is that there’s no chance of physically cloning your card, and it’s hard for any opportunistic onlookers to see the password you type into the watch.

  • is garmin pay safe

According to Garmin’s website; Absolutely! Garmin claims to take security very seriously and therefore only use watch-specific card numbers and transaction pin codes with every purchase. Your actual card number is never stored on the Garmin watch, the company servers, or provided to merchants.

last word on digital payment solutions in South Africa

Whether you are new to these digital payment solutions or already familiar with how they work, it’s vitally important to ensure that the service you are using offers up-to-date security systems. It must also encrypt any data that it needs to provide you with the service. Data encryption is an essential feature to look out for, as without it, a digital payment solution is not up to scratch.

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