Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Enterprise

Vodacom unveils VodaPay 'super app' details

Article Image
Vodacom has begun onboarding merchants and developers for its "super app," VodaPay, which is set to launch in South Africa later this year.

The Johannesburg-based mobile operator held a virtual event on Tuesday where it unveiled plans for the super app, which it claims will be a game-changer for driving financial inclusion and economic growth in South Africa.

"Since we announced the VodaPay Super App in July last year, we have made significant strides in developing this technology solution that will transform the fintech ecosystem in South Africa. Our powerful partnership with Alipay strengthens our access to world-class technology and puts us on par with leading global digital counterparts," said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

Vodacom Financial Services is now inviting developers and businesses of all sizes to join the VodaPay ecosystem by building their very own "mini programs."

The idea is that these third-party, downloadable sub-applications will run within the VodaPay app. Users can use the app to pay bills, send money, play games, order takeaway or shop online all within one digital space.

"If we are to drive financial inclusion, and go even further together, we want to offer the capabilities of the VodaPay mini programs to as many businesses, of all sizes, across multiple industries as possible. Through collaboration in establishing an inclusive mobile payment ecosystem, we can change the economic landscape for the benefit of the entire country," said Joosub.

Payment options

The VodaPay app aims to be a single point of entry and payment platform for consumers. Vodacom said the mini programs can accept both physical and online payments from customers with the in-app VodaPay digital wallet.

Customers will be able to pay upfront, with rewards, or use the buy-now-pay-later options and nano credit offerings.

"This is the perfect opportunity for businesses and developers to establish a presence in this hi-tech, scalable digital mall. They can access millions of potential customers every day," added Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.

Last week, Safaricom – which Vodacom is a shareholder of – also launched its M-Pesa super app in Kenya.

Like the M-Pesa super app, Vodapay will also be zero-rated for all Vodacom customers, Cassim said. Customers on other mobile networks will be able to use it, but it seems they will have to use their data to do so.

Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services. (Source: Vodacom).
Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.
(Source: Vodacom).

VodaPay will provide the infrastructure on which merchants and consumers in South Africa can transact, managing all the login, authorization and payments processing aspects of transactions.

Vodacom said that around 70 businesses have already signed up or committed to build their own mini programs in the Super App, including SA brands such as Makro, Builders Warehouse, Clicks, Edgars, Game, Exclusive Books, Big Blue, Flightsite, Dollar Thrifty, Westpack, Petzone, One Cart, Netflorist, Kit Kat Cash & Carry, Droppa, Planet54, Jacaranda FM, KFC, Booking.com, TravelStart, Hannah Lavery, Michelle Ludek, To Be Gift Boxes and Afritrails.

VodaPay's technical team will be offering merchants and developers training on how best to use the technology.

Businesses will also have access to recommendation engines and data analytics to deliver personalized offers to customers as well as simplified checkout options, and advertising capabilities to drive sales.

"The adoption of digital technology is critical for businesses if they are to respond to change quickly and remain relevant in these uncertain times. VodaPay mini programs can accelerate the digital engagement of a business in a cost-effective manner, expanding the possibility of financial inclusion," added Joosub.

Related posts:

*Top image is of Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub (Source: Vodacom).

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Connecting Africa Podcast: Ep. 3 – Startups, funding and failing fast with Zachariah George

This week the team chats to Startupbootcamp AfriTech Co-Founder Zachariah George about venture capital and angel investing in Africa and what he is looking for in the next generation of tech startups.

Story

Orange opens Digital Centers in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon

Orange has launched two new Digital Centers, one in Côte d'Ivoire and another in Cameroon, with plans to open more in Africa this year and into 2022.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: September 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View covers Africell's Ugandan exit and MTC's Namibian stock exchange IPO; as well as Netflix's free Kenyan offering and a new broadband service in SA from Multichoice and MTN.

Story

Omdia View: August 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about MTN's decision to exit Syria and not bid again for an Ethiopian license, as well as 5G news from Mauritius, Ghana, Mayotte and Reunion.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Upcoming webinars

Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

Register Here >>

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up