VodaPay ‘super app’ enters next phase as merchants and devs begin onboarding

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This morning Vodacom held a media briefing to discuss its upcoming VodaPay “super app” offering, which is currently slated for release in South Africa at the end of August.

The purpose of the session was twofold – provide an update on the status of the platform’s development and tease what could be coming down the line.

Regarding the former, VodaPay is in the next phase of development. Namely onboarding merchants and developers as it readies for launch in the coming weeks. The all-encompassing platform already has a few notable merchants in its ranks, with the likes of Makro, Builders Warehouse, Clicks, Edgars, Game, Exclusive Books, Booking.com and Netflorist joining among others.

“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,” explained Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

“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,” he added.

Vodacom also used the session to alert merchants operating in South Africa of the benefits being a part of VodaPay will serve, with access to customer insights, data analytics and AI solutions to assist with reaching the desired market, all espoused by the company.

Vodacom added that payment and ecommerce solutions would be designed to be as seamless as possible, as they want to position the VodaPay super app is a one stop shop for both Vodacom customers and those on different networks.

Speaking of which, in order to incentivise use among its own community, Vodacom confirms that access to the super app will be zero-rated for those on its network. Given the price of data in the country, that could prove a significant value-add.

There is still more to come for VodaPay down the line, the company promises.

We asked it about the scope for adding entertainment services outside of the Vodacom stable (such as Video Play) for example, and it confirmed that such a scenario is indeed a possibility.

Not only is Vodacom considering adding access to services like Spotify and Deezer to the mix, but the company is actively exploring the ability to bundle services together in data packages. You could, for example, then bundle together the likes of Netflix and Showmax as part of a streaming package via VodaPay.

The move makes sense given Vodacom wants people spending money and consuming entertainment on its network after all.

There are also opportunities for the VodaPay super app to be launched in other parts of the African continent where the company operates, with AliPay providing the backbone on which the platform is built. Another potential offering down the line is remittance for those working in South Africa and wanting to send money home, as VodaPay is said to be a secure and trusted platform.

The company is planning some substantial additions for its super app in the future, as its push to being one of the key fintech players on the African continent is taking shape. Those merchants and developments wanting to find out more about the VodaPay platform are encouraged to head here.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.


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