South Africa’s Telkom claims an African e-commerce first

South Africa’s Telkom claims an African e-commerce first

South Africa’s number three operator is claiming an African first. Telkom says it has launched Africa’s first virtual card for transacting on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers to make e-commerce payments.

This move, says Telkom, is expected to empower millions of South Africans – even those without a bank account – to access the digital economy and transact online.

Launched in 2020, Telkom Pay is a digital payments wallet that enables its users to make and receive payments using WhatsApp on their mobile phone. With the addition of the Mastercard virtual (non-plastic) card to the wallet, users can now make payments to local and global online merchants that accept Mastercard, including Uber and Netflix.

Telkom’s move to bring virtual cards into its Telkom Pay WhatsApp service is a result of a collaboration with Mastercard, Nedbank and leading fintech enablement partner Ukheshe Technologies. 

Telkom says its Mastercard virtual card for WhatsApp gives customers the flexibility to shop safely and conveniently using just their smartphone and the Telkom Pay app. Customers simply create a virtual card on their profile, link it to their digital wallet and transfer funds from their wallet to the card.

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 as they would with a physical card.

The virtual card solution is safely stored on the Telkom Pay app and customers can temporarily block, cancel or replace their card via the app, providing them with additional security and control.