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Mastercard (MA) Offers Google Pay to South Africa's Cardholders

·4 min read

Mastercard Incorporated MA recently joined forces with the renowned multinational company Alphabet’s GOOGL subsidiary Google to introduce the digital payment app Google Pay across South Africa. The benefits of the platform, backed by many lucrative features, can now be leveraged by the country’s MA cardholders.

The cardholders need to install the Google Pay app either from the Google Play store or the pay.google.com website on their Android phones or compatible Wear OS devices. Subsequently, they add their Mastercard-branded cards to the digital wallet (Google Wallet) that was recently introduced in South Africa and can simply make seamless payments at the checkout point of stores that accept contactless payment methods.

Apart from conducting hassle-free daily payments, cardholders need not bother about the security and confidentiality of information assured through Google Pay. The app enables the usage of a virtual card number referred to as a token to conduct transactions, thereby avoiding the disclosure of actual credit card information to the merchants. The need to pass down their payment cards, touch physical buttons or exchange cash is excluded from the usage of this app.

The latest initiative reinforces Mastercard’s efforts to bolster its digital payment capabilities in South Africa. Also, the growing adoption of mobile or digital wallets, thanks to the ease and security that this offers across the country, demonstrates the timeliness of the recent collaboration.

Per Mastercard’s New Payments Index, 52% of South African consumers preferred smartphones or digital wallets over other payment methods for conducting transactions in 2021. The trend is likely to continue as 60% of the country’s respondents remain optimistic about using smartphones for making payments next year.

Considering the growing inclination toward digital means that led to the urgency for contactless payment methods, the decision to roll out Google Pay in South Africa seems to be aptly timed. However, growing digitization involves a simultaneous risk of severe payment frauds. The Google Pay app can effectively address this shortcoming because it not only paves the way for convenient contactless payments but also ensures transaction security.

The latest move also reinforces Mastercard’s sincere efforts to utilize advanced technologies and accelerate the adoption of digital payments in South Africa. The country seems an attractive destination for MA, given the increasing propensity of consumers toward virtual transactions, elevated Internet usage, rising adoption of smartphones and several government initiatives to boost the nation’s digital transition.

Shares of Mastercard have lost 4.4% in a year compared with the industry’s decline of 28.3%.

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Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Mastercard currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the Business Services space are Blucora, Inc. BCOR and Clean Harbors, Inc. CLH. While Clean Harbors sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Blucora carries  a Zacks Rank of 2 at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The bottom line of Blucora outpaced estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed once, the average being 15.99%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BCOR’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 5.1% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 2.1% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for BCOR’s 2022 earnings has moved 1.6% north in the past 30 days.

Clean Harbors’ earnings outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 37.51%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CLH’s 2022 earnings suggests an improvement of 86.3% from the year-ago reported figure. The same for revenues suggests growth of 33.4% from the year-ago reported number. The consensus mark for CLH’s 2022 earnings has moved 52.7% north in the past 30 days.

Shares of Blucora and Clean Harbors have gained 22.4% and 14%, respectively, in a year.

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