While South Africans wait patiently for access to more digital payment solutions, Android users in the US will gain another way to pay using Google Pay — a virtual debit card. In the past few months, Apple Pay started rolling out to selected banks in South Africa. So while iPhone users go around paying for things with their Apple Watches, Android users are still limited in terms of digital payment offerings in SA.
Google Pay, meet card terminal
According to ArsTechnica, Google rebuilt its whole Google Pay codebase earlier this year, which stripped it down to the bare minimum. Now it’s finally started adding new features to the app — the most recent of which isn’t even a line of code.
9to5Google reports that Android users in the States can now request a “Google Pay Balance Card” — this will allow them the ability to pay in physical stores using the money sitting in their virtual account.
“Besides the NFC tap-and-pay functionality, Google Pay also has a P2P payment that lets you exchange money with other people,” ArsTechnica details. Money sitting in the Google Pay account could previously only be used to pay for things in the Play Store or the Google hardware store.
The cash can easily be transferred to a valid bank account without any fees — it just takes a bit of admin. The company’s new piece of hardware, however, is a virtual Visa debit card that you can set as an NFC card. Now it’ll be easy enough to spend that in-app money irl.