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South Africa Gets Google Wallet

FI:LE: This photo shows the Google logo at the Google headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Taken 3.23.2010
FI:LE: This photo shows the Google logo at the Google headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Taken 3.23.2010

Alphabet Inc. launched Google Wallet in South Africa on Tuesday, as the tech giant tries to gain a foothold in the country's rapidly growing digital payments space.

The Google Wallet app stores a consumer's credit or debit card information and allows shoppers to pay for goods by tapping their phone against a retail store's point of sale at the checkout counter.

From Tuesday, cardholders of FirstRand Bank, Discovery Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, ABSA, and Nedbank will be able to add their cards to Google Wallet, Google said.

They will then be able to pay with their Android phones or use OS devices where contactless payments are accepted.

Last year, rival Apple Inc. launched its Apple Pay mobile payment system in South Africa.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital transactions and people increasingly prefer making contactless payments via their smart devices. High smartphone penetration has also helped adoption rates.

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Meta Toughens Content Curbs for Teens on Instagram, Facebook

FILE - Woman holds smartphone with Meta logo in front of a displayed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta in this illustration picture
FILE - Woman holds smartphone with Meta logo in front of a displayed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta in this illustration picture

WASHINGTON — Meta on Tuesday said it was tightening up content restrictions for teens on Instagram and Facebook as it faces increased scrutiny that its platforms are harmful for young people.

The changes come months after dozens of U.S. states accused Meta of damaging the mental health of children and teens, and misleading users about the safety of its platforms.

In a blog post, the company run by Mark Zuckerberg said it will now "restrict teens from seeing certain types of content across Facebook and Instagram even if it's from friends or people they follow."

This type of content would include content that discusses suicide or self-harm, as well as nudity or mentions of restricted goods, the company added.

Restricted goods on Instagram include tobacco products and weapons as well as alcohol, contraception, cosmetic procedures and weight loss programs, according to its website.

In addition, teens will now be defaulted into the most restricted settings on Instagram and Facebook, a policy that was in place for new users and that now will be expanded to existing users.

This will "make it more difficult for people to come across potentially sensitive content or accounts in places like Search and Explore," the company said.

Meta also said that it will expand its policy of hiding results to searches related to suicide and self harm to include more terms.

Leaked internal research from Meta, including by the Wall Street Journal and whistle-blower Frances Haugen, has shown that the company was long aware of dangers its platforms have on the mental health for young people.

On the platforms, teens are defined as being under eighteen, based on the date of birth they give when signing up.

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