Vodacom South Africa has partnered with Chinese top fintech, Alipay, to build a We-chat-like super app for the South African Market.
The app will be a one-stop-shop for customers and merchants to transact affordably. Vodacom Financial Services will be the app’s main operator, while Alipay will be the technology provider.
Vodacom Group Chief Executive Shameel Joosub said in a statement, “This partnership is a significant milestone in promoting greater financial inclusion within the communities in which we operate, accelerating our financial services aspirations across Africa.”
Also in the statement, Vodacom was optimistic about the partnership with Alipay, and will leverage the latter’s experience as a top digital lifestyle services platform to tailor a marketplace for goods and services for South African consumers.
By June of last year, Alipay had been served an impressive 1.2 billion people globally either directly or through global e-wallet partners.
CEO of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services, Mariam Cassim, said, “The new technology will also allow access to digital lifestyle solutions such as streaming music, playing games, and watching videos, e-news, cab-hailing, and much more. The application is completely customizable to meet the specific financial and transacting needs of the user.”
The super app will enable its South Africa-based users to send and receive money, pay bills, shop online; merchants will be able to order new stock and check on the business point of sale transactions. The app will enable users to keep track of how much they spend on each merchant every month.
In addition to this, the superapp will provide SME’s with comprehensive advertising solutions such as real-time and direct marketing solutions.
This will be managed by utilizing Vodacom’s digital payment ecosystem to serve both the banked and unbanked parts of the population. The app is particularly looking to tap into the 11 million unbanked people in the country.
Vodacom announced that it would soon be recruiting the technical talent required to build the application in early 2021.
MTN, South Africa’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers is also planning to build a similar app in the near future.