WhatsApp Pay and Telkom Pay in South Africa Now Work Together Thanks to MasterCard


Less than two months ago, WhatsApp Pay launched in South Africa.

The payments platform had been launched in other parts of the world, including Latin America and India.

Having looked into how it works, WhatsApp Pay isn’t much different from what its name suggests.

The platform uses the Facebook-owned chat app, the biggest of its kind in the world, to let businesses receive in-chat payments from their customers.

The South Africa launch was powered by payments firm Ukheshe, Nedbank and MasterCard.

The platform is getting a shot in the arm following the launch of a MasterCard virtual card. The non-plastic (thusly, virtual) card will allow Telkom Pay customer complete e-commerce payments using WhatsApp Pay.

People privy to this development say that the move seeks to empower millions of South Africans – including those without a traditional bank account, to access digital services and the economy through online transactions.

For context, Telkom Pay came in slightly earlier than the official roll-out of WhatsApp Pay in SA. The digital payments wallet allows users to transact on the chat app.

Besides, the addition of the MasterCard-powered virtual card means that users can now access global online merchants that accept payments from MasterCard. Uber and Netflix, for instance, do.

Telkom’s 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 like they would with a physical card.


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 timeTelkom Managing Executive for Financial Services, Sibusiso Ngwenya.

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 Suzanne Morel, Country Manager for Mastercard, South Africa.

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 mostClayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe