Digital wallets have been making some in-roads across the world, with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay leading in some markets.
The idea is rather simple: allowing users to pay for goods and services digitally, without having the need to swipe a card or fork over cash.
While neither Samsung nor Apple’s offerings are available in this country, popular instant messaging platform WeChat today launched WeChat Wallet in South Africa.
“With WeChat Wallet, people can electronically send cash to friends and family, just like handing cash to a friend to get you lunch or pay for coffee or a drink at the bar,” WeChat said in a press statement.
The service aims to eliminate the act of taking out a bank card and having to input a PIN number at a checkout counter. With WeChat Wallet users can save up to three chip and PIN debit or credit cards, which are verified by Visa and MasterCard security systems.
If you don’t want to save your card details on the service, you can also top-up your account with a balance, and pay for airtime, electricity, food, pay SnapScan merchants or send money to friends.
“The new digital wallet service is WeChat’s most exciting offering yet. It truly showcases the scope of the platform and provides a safe way for people to store their bank cards and make cash payments on the go in a tech-savvy way,” says Brett Loubser, Head of WeChat Africa.
“The service is another way WeChat is merging the online and offline worlds, providing people with seamless payment integration in a single application. Now they won’t be inconvenienced if they forget their purses or money at home because everything they need is at their fingertips.”
Oh, and all of this done through Standard Bank and its networks of ATMs, which is where you can send money to friends, make easy payments and cash out.
“This service is just another way that Standard Bank is making banking a seamless part of our customers’ daily lives. Not only does it give customers the freedom to choose how they stay in control of their finances, it provides them with peace of mind knowing that they can do so safely and securely, with the backing of a banking brand that is committed to being always on and available to them 24/7,” said Kheta Mazibuko, Head of Personal Services at Standard Bank.
You can download WeChat for free from iTunes or the Play Store or visit www.wechat.com, then simply log in, tap ‘Me’, then tap ‘Wallet’ and follow the step-by-step instructions. Bit of a disclaimer: the service is only available to South Africans who are 16 or older with a valid ID number and are using iOS or Android phones.