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.

FinTech

Vodacom extends lending offering in SA

Article Image
Vodacom's financial services division has extended its lending offering in South Africa allowing customers to get advances for consumer goods.

The new VodaLend offering, called Voucher Advance, so far has two partnerships – one with fast food chain Nandos and the other with major appliance store Hirsch's.

"Voucher Advance is yet another innovative addition to our lending product suite, which showcases our commitment towards greater financial inclusion within communities in South Africa," said Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.

Through Voucher Advance, Vodacom customers can choose to "pay now" and buy vouchers at a discounted rate or get in advance and "pay later," in what the telco is calling a first of its kind for South Africa.

Financial services growth

Lending has proved a successful money spinner for the Johannesburg-based operator, especially its Airtime Advance product.

In just the last three months of 2020, Vodacom gave R3.1 billion (US$218 million) worth of micro-loans for airtime in South Africa and grew the number of Airtime Advance customers by 26.5% year-on-year, to 10.7 million.

The financial services division has been growing steadily over the past four years, under the leadership of Cassim.

Vodacom's financial services revenue grew by over 24% to R619 million ($43.5 million) for the last quarter of 2020, and the telco has about 13.1 million customers using its financial services products in South Africa.

At the end of 2020 about 2 million South Africans had insurance policies with the operator which has evolved its services from just offering device insurance to add more services such as life insurance, funeral cover and contract cover.

Vodacom has also seen success with nano-loans in Tanzania and Kenya (through Safaricom).

It has also launched a financing product for small- to medium-sized businesses and a payment app, called VodaPay, which is evolving into a "super-app" in partnership with Chinese digital payment provider Alipay.

VodaLend Voucher Advance

The new Voucher Advance offering in SA will see customers advanced interest free nano-loans in the form of vouchers starting from as little as R25 ($1.76) from a food outlet or R250 ($17.60) from a retailer, with 30 days to pay back the advance.

"We, as a business, are also mindful of the fact that South Africans face tough economic challenges. Our primary focus is to deliver seamless and rewarding experiences for customers and vendors in a cost-efficient way," added Quintin Van Vuuren, executive head of Lending at Vodacom Financial Services.

However there are some Ts and Cs, to qualify for Voucher Advance: Customers need to be active on the Vodacom network for at least six months as well as have a proven track record of buying airtime or data bundles.

Vouchers can be accessed through the My Vodacom App, for smartphone users, with plans to introduce USSD functionality for feature phone users at a later stage.

"With our digital lending solutions, we will continue to focus on addressing the challenges related to financial inclusion by going beyond traditional methods. We will continue to innovate to ensure all customers have access to financial services solutions, including those who are unbanked," concluded van Vuuren.

Related posts:

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

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Zoie Health

This month's hot startup is South African digital women's health clinic Zoie Health – a digital app that focuses on family planning, fertility and maternity care.

Story

Orange Côte d'Ivoire launches 5G lab in Abidjan

Pan-African telecoms operator, Orange, has launched a 5G lab in Côte d'Ivoire in anticipation of its 5G network rollout in 2023.

More Innovation hub

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

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.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up