What is Google Pay?

Google Pay is the fast, easy, and secure way to pay on sites, in apps, and in stores using the cards saved to your Google Account. To use Google Pay to pay in stores, you'll need an Android phone (Huawei not supported by Google Wallet™).

Don’t worry about your Absa rewards - you get the same benefits using your card through Google Pay as you would using your plastic card the old-fashioned way. With Google Pay, you can also save your loyalty cards, gift cards, and tickets and pay for transit using your phone. 


How does Google Pay make my life easier? 
  • It’s safer
  • It’s touchless
  • It’s faster
  • It’s more secure
  • It works across purchases
How safe is Google Pay?

When you use your Absa Credit or Debit Card with Google Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Google servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element, an industry-standard, certified chip designed to store the payment information safely on the device. You can find the Absa Privacy Policy here.

Using your Android device to pay
  • In store with your Android Phone

    Important: Near field communication (NFC) must be turned on to make contactless payments. To turn on NFC, check your phone settings app.

    You can pay with Google Wallet™ wherever you find either the contactless or Google Pay symbols. Find them on the point-of-sale device or on the cash register at merchant till.


    Step 1: Wake up & unlock your phone


    Turn on your screen, then unlock your phone. You don’t need to open the Google Wallet™ app.

    Tip: Smaller transactions don't require you to unlock your phone.


    Step 2: Hold the back of your phone close to the point-of-sale device for a few seconds


    When you’re done paying, a blue check mark appears on the screen.

    If the check mark isn’t on your screen:

    • Try to hold your phone in a different way. Your NFC antenna could be near the top or bottom of your device.
    • Hold your phone closer to the point-of-sale device.
    • Hold your phone to the point-of-sale device for a few extra seconds.


    If there’s a check mark but the cashier says that the payment didn’t work:

    • Double check that the store accepts mobile payments.
    • Contact your bank. There may be an issue with your card and your bank may have declined the transaction. If the transaction is declined, you aren’t charged.


    Step 3: If prompted, follow the on-screen instructions


    Some stores ask for a PIN or signature. If you’re asked, follow the steps on the screen.

    • Debit cards: Enter the PIN that you set up with your bank. This PIN is different from the one you use to unlock your device.
    • Credit cards: For larger transactions, sign the receipt or the on-screen signature box.


    Make a payment in a store using your smartwatch

    1. Open the Google Wallet™ app .
    2. Hold your watch over the contactless point-of-sale device until you hear a sound or feel vibration from your watch.
    3. If asked, tap Credit regardless of your type of card.
    4. For debit card transactions, you may have to enter a PIN. Use the PIN that you set up with your bank.


  • While shopping online

    • Online stores will display the Google Pay logo at checkout.
    • Select to checkout with Google Pay.
    • You will be prompted to authenticate with your Touch ID. 
    • Select the Absa card with which you want to pay and complete your payment.
    • Use your Absa Banking App to track your transactions and manage your Absa cards. 
  • Where can I use Google Pay

    • You can use Google Pay both locally and internationally, in grocery stores, boutiques, pharmacies, restaurants, clothing stores and at many other retailers where contactless payments are accepted.
    • Even paying for parking just got so much easier.
    • Look out for this logo when you need to pay in store, using an app or when shopping online.


  • Security features

    • Google Pay protects your payment info with multiple layers of security, using one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures to help keep your account safe.
    • “Everything Google makes” is protected with powerful built-in security technologies that help detect and block threats like spam, malware, and viruses from ever reaching you.
    • The Google Pay app doesn’t store the physical number of your card, instead the app assigns it a unique virtual account number.
Using your Android device to pay

To make contactless payments with Google Wallet™, you must use a screen lock on your device for your security.

You can unlock Google Wallet™ with several methods:

  • PIN
  • Pattern
  • Password
  • Fingerprint
  • Iris scan
  • 3D face unlock

Tip: Google Wallet doesn't work with 2D face unlock or screen locks like Smart Unlock or Knock to Unlock.

Set or change a screen lock

  1. Open your phone Settings app.
  2. Tap Security.
  3. Tap Screen lock.
    • If you already set a lock, you must enter your PIN, pattern, or password before you can choose a different one.
  4. Tap the option you’d like to use. Follow the on-screen instructions.

No unlock needed for smaller payments

Important: For tap to pay transactions under a certain amount, you may not need to unlock your phone. For regional requirements, go to the table below. 

You can only make a limited number of locked transactions before your phone asks you to unlock it. You must also  complete the transaction within a few minutes after you unlock it.

Tip: For added security, set up your phone so that it must be unlocked to complete a near field communication (NFC) transaction.

To turn on this setting:

  1. Go to Settings .
  2. Tap Connected devices Connection preferences  NFC.
  3. Turn on Require device unlock for NFC.

If you can’t find this option, you may need to update your phone to the latest version of Android.

Pay with a non-default card

The first card that you add to Google Wallet™ is the default. To use another card:

  1. Open the Google Wallet™  app .
  2. Swipe to the card that you want to use. When you find "Hold to terminal," it's ready to use.
  3. Hold your watch against the contactless payment terminal until you hear a sound or feel vibration from your watch.
  4. If you use a debit card:
    • Tap Credit.
    • If asked, enter the PIN you set up with your bank.
Change the default card

The steps are different depending on your watch version. Learn how to check your watch version.

Wear version 3.0

  1. Open the Google Wallet™  app .
  2. Swipe to the card you want to use as default.
  3. Tap the card  Make default for tap to pay.

Wear version 2.0

  1. Open the Google Wallet™ app .
  2. Swipe to the card you want to use as default.
  3. Tap the card.
  4. From the bottom, swipe up on More .
  5. Tap Set as default card.
Remove a card
  1. Open the Google Wallet™ app .
  2. Swipe to the card you want to remove. 
  3. Tap it.
  4. From the bottom, swipe up on More .
  5. Tap Remove . 

You can access your Absa Credit Card Account as well as track your purchases in the Absa Banking App. There are great features in the App that allow you to manage your card limits, apply for credit limit increases, temporarily lock your account, access your Absa card details and PIN, view your minimum payment and much more. And you do not need data to transact on the Absa Banking App.

  • Open the Google Wallet™ app .
  • Tap a card.
  • Swipe up on the card to view your transactions.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What sorts of uses will the Google Wallet™ support?

    People will be able to save and access payment cards, loyalty cards and boarding passes, and we’ll be adding support for additional items over time.

  • What is the difference between Google Wallet™ and Google Pay?

    Google Pay is the safe way to pay and make secure purchases in stores, in apps, and on the web. Google Wallet™ is the place where you store your credit or debit cards so you can use them with Google Pay, as well as loyalty cards, boarding passes, and other items.

  • How does Google Wallet™ benefit users?

    Google’s Wallet™ will be easy to access and comprehensive in the use cases it supports, while meeting our high security standards.

    • Easy to access - Get to all your stuff quickly on your phone. Users expect to be able to digitize their physical wallet, from payments and loyalty to tickets. Google Wallet is a redesigned digital wallet for Android that provides fast, secure access to everyday essentials.
    • Comprehensive - Google Wallet™ covers the use cases users care about. Users will have the convenience of leaving their physical wallets at home, and still be able to access payment cards and more from their Android phone.
    • Safe and secure - Google Wallet™ is safer than plastic cards. Real card numbers are never shared keeping users protected. Google Wallet™ reduces fraud, requiring a fingerprint, face, or pin to pay.
  • Will the Google Wallet™ functionality be available on Wear OS?

    Users with a supported non-Samsung Wear device will see the Wallet app on their device after a Play Store update (which should be automatic); those with Samsung devices will be able to install Google Wallet™ from the Play Store.

  • Can I use Google Wallet™ on any Android phone?

    Google Wallet™ is available to users on any Android phone running Android 5.2 or later.

  • How can I get the Google Wallet™ on my Android?

    Android users can download the Google Wallet™ app in the Play Store.

  • Where are my cards saved when I add them to Google Wallet™?

    When you use Google Wallet™, your cards and your transactions are saved in your Google Account. You can change what is kept and manage your privacy settings at any time. More details here.

  • How do you keep my cards and passes safe?

    • Google Wallet™ uses tokens, a type of temporary alias for your actual account number, to help keep your account information safe. This token is created when you add a card to the Google Pay app or your banking app. When you make contactless payments, your tokenized account number is shared with the merchant instead of your actual account number.
    • You require a screen lock. You can make small payments with a locked device, but for larger payments or multiple small payments, we require you to unlock your phone. This helps prevent fraud if your phone is lost or stolen.
    • Your Google Account comes with built-in security designed to detect and block threats like spam, malware, and viruses. With this built-in security, the Google Wallet™ data that’s stored in your Google Account is better protected from unauthorized access.

    Important: To make contactless purchases with Google Wallet™, you must have an Android phone with Near Field Communication (NFC).

    You can use your phone to pay wherever contactless payments are accepted.

Contact details

Call us on 08600 08600
Email us at absa@absa.co.za