It has been a long time coming but Apple users can now activate Apple Pay in South Africa. For months now, rumours of the service arriving in SA have been swirling around online. In addition, the Apple Pay Wiki page updated with a 30 March 2021 release date for South Africa a few weeks ago and now it has happened. The service is available to South African Apple owners…. If you are with a supported bank.
Currently, the feature is limited to specific banks. For example, FNB cards cannot be added to Apple Pay in South Africa yet. It is unclear whether or not this will change in the future. I tried adding my FNB card this morning and it gave me an error. However, users have confirmed that Absa, Nedbank, and Discovery Bank all support this feature.
Apple Pay South Africa Supported Banks
- Supported Banks
- Discovery Bank
- Not Supported/unconfirmed
- First National Bank (FNB) (working with Apple)
- Standard Bank
- African Bank
For those who don’t know what Apple Pay is, it allows users to add a bank card to their Apple ID and make use of NFC for purchasing items at stores and through online apps. It saves the hassle of always adding a bank card to the checkout or having a card with you when you are out and about shopping. Users can simply tap their Apple Watch or iPhone on a supported pay point and Apple Pay will do the rest.
How to Set Up Apple Pay in South Africa
Apple Pay is set up through the “Wallet and Apple Pay” tab in the settings app. Click on Settings>Wallet and Apple Pay>Add Card and complete the process. Users can scan their card using their camera or enter the details manually. Once you have entered the Security Code, if the page successfully activates your Apple Pay then your bank is supported. If you get a “Your Issuer Does Not Yet Offer Support For This Card” then your bank does not support the feature yet.
I have reached out to FNB and other banks to find out if they plan on rolling out the feature to its customers. We will update this post once we have feedback. Given the initial release date for Apple Pay in South Africa is only 30 March, perhaps they are still preparing things in the backend? Let’s hope we can change all the “unsupported” to “supported” soon.
FNB has confirmed that the bank does plan on supporting Apple Pay in South Africa. FNB spokesperson Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Card told us:
We’re working with Apple and look forward to bringing Apple Pay to our customers.
Once available, it will be accessible at scale to nearly 1 million iPhone users from our 6 million digitally active customers.
Our Virtual Card, with nearly 200 000 active Virtual Cards to date further compliments the expansion of our digital payments ecosystem.
FNB remains committed to providing a range of unique and innovative solutions that are centered around true customer and business value.