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Telkom SA launches WhatsApp-based payment service

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South African telecoms operator, Telkom, has launched a digital payment service that works through the WhatsApp messaging app.

The telco said in a statement that the Telkom Pay Digital Wallet, or Telkom Pay for short, is a platform which allows users to make or receive payments via WhatsApp to anyone on their contact list. It also serves as a cashless point-of-sale (POS) payment option for businesses.

"We are launching financial services solutions that cater to everyone and that are easy to access through one's phone 24/7 at an affordable price for consumers and businesses," said Sibusiso Ngwenya, managing executive of Telkom Financial Services.

"Our device insurance has been in the market for a number of years. This year we have successfully launched funeral cover and our foray into payments further deepens our strategic intent to play a significant role in providing solutions that meet the needs of our customers and contribute to economic inclusion in South Africa," he added.

In August, Telkom announced it was taking a bigger step into financial services, going beyond just device insurance and launching financial services products including funeral insurance and loans for small and midsized enterprises (SMEs).

Now Telkom Pay seems to be the next step in the group's financial services expansion plans. Users with WhatsApp can add Telkom Pay on the messaging app, register and then send and/or receive money by sharing a "Please pay me" with a contact or using a cell phone number to send money.

Telkom Pay also allows customers to buy airtime, data and electricity digitally or make payments at physical retailers using QR codes.

Users can also top up their wallets via EFT, at Nedbank ATMs or at any Pick 'n Pay store or can link a bank card to the platform.

"The digital wallet is a convenient and safe platform for anyone who wants to send family and friends money; needs to buy airtime, data and electricity; and wants to shop and pay for goods or services using one platform," added Ngwenya.

You don't have to be a Telkom customer to access the platform but if you are and you refer friends you can earn money to spend on Telkom airtime or data.

*Top image is of Sibusiso Ngwenya, managing executive of Telkom Financial Services.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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