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Apple Pay’s South African launch appears to be imminent

Speculation around the launch of Apple Pay in South Africa has run rampant after the discovery of South African banks, Nedbank and Discovery Bank, mentioned in the terms and conditions of the Cupertino company’s contactless payment platform.

Screenshot by Petrus Malherbe

This was bolstered by customers getting alerts to add either their Nedbank or Discovery Bank card to the app as well as local tech journalist Nafisa Akabor’s discovery of a series of YouTube videos by ABSA bank which showed its customers how to add their cards to Apple Pay.

While promising and clearly indictative of a local launch sometime this year, all the messaging around Apple Pay in South Africa appears to be premature as no banks have confirmed if or when the service will be available in the country.

According to Visa’s Country Manager for South Africa, Aldo Laubscher, the intention was to have launched Apple Pay in South Africa by the end of 2020. He continued by saying that “it looks like it will probably be late in the quarter or early in the next quarter,” and attributes the delay to scheduling and the impact of COVID.

Aldo Laubscher, Visa Country Manager for South Africa, talks about Apple Pay

While nothing has been confirmed by Apple, it appears that South Africans can expect Apple Pay to launch in March or April, bringing yet another contactless payment option to local smartphone users.