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South Africa: Telkom Launches Virtual Card for Transacting on WhatsApp

Telkom launches Africa’s first virtual card for transacting on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments

Telkom customers can now make e-commerce payments thanks to the company's launch of Africa's first MasterCard virtual card for use on WhatsApp. The latest development is expected to boost digital inclusion in South Africa, as millions of South Africa will gain access to the digital economy and transact online.

“We are proud to lead the way in launching the first virtual card through WhatsApp on the continent. This ensures greater financial inclusion through affordable products and services that cater to everyone and are easily accessible through a mobile device at any time.” Telkom Managing Executive for Financial Services, Sibusiso Ngwenya.

Telkom Pay which was launched in 2020, is a digital payments wallet that allows its users to perform transactions using WhatsApp on their mobile phone. Telkom's latest move - the addition of the MasterCard virtual (non-plastic) card to the wallet, will enable users make payments to local and global online merchants that accept MasterCard, including Uber and Netflix.

The integration of the virtual cards into Telkom's Pay WhatsApp service is a function of Telkom's close relationship with  MasterCard, Nedbank, and leading fintech enablement partner, Ukheshe Technologies.

“We are thrilled to assist Telkom in making new, innovative products possible, and look forward to continuing our journey of supporting clients in their efforts to offer cutting-edge payment solutions to people who need them most.” Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe

The expansion of Telkom Pay's services is an important step forward in improving access to the digital economy, Suzanne Morel, Country Manager for Mastercard, South Africa, said. According to him, "South Africans are increasingly shopping online, yet many people are left out as they lack the financial tools needed for e-commerce."

“This digital-first solution bridges the divide by giving consumers instant access to a virtual payment solution through WhatsApp, without compromising the safety and security of transactions. Together with our partners, we are helping more people to benefit from the choice and flexibility that a growing, inclusive digital economy brings.” Suzanne Morel.

With Telkom's MasterCard virtual card for WhatsApp, customers have the flexibility to shop safely and conveniently using just their smartphone and the Telkom Pay app. The virtual card solution is stored safely on the Telkom Pay app. Customers can temporarily block, cancel, or replace their card via the app, providing them with additional security and control.

How to use the virtual card

  1. Create a virtual card on your profile,
  2. Link it to your digital wallet and transfer funds from your wallet to the card.
  3. To pay for purchases, users receive a virtual prepaid card – including a 16-digit card number, security code and expiry date, which they use to complete an online purchase much like they would with a physical card.

South Africa in focus

GDP: $351.432 billion compared to Botswana's $18.34 billion in 2019

Population: 58,588,267 compared to Botswana's 2,303,697 in 2019

GDP per capita: $6,001 compared to Botswana's $7,961 in 2019