SOUTH AFRICA – Mobile telecommunications company Vodacom, has unveiled its much-anticipated VodaPay “super app” in South Africa, designed in collaboration with Alibaba Group-owned fintech services platform Alipay.

“VodaPay is an all-encompassing mobile payments solution that has been customised to meet the specific lifestyle and payment needs of consumers, businesses and tech developers,” Vodacom said in a statement while announcing the launch of the app.

Vodacom Financial Services now is inviting developers and businesses to join the VodaPay ecosystem by building their own “mini programs”.

“These third-party, downloadable sub-applications run within the VodaPay ‘super app’ and are available to all consumers to enhance their lifestyle,” Vodacom said.

Vodacom first announced its plans to develop and release the “super app” in July 2020 and Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in a statement then that the solution “will transform the fintech ecosystem in South Africa”.

‘Mini programs’

“Our powerful partnership with Alipay strengthens our access to world-class technology and puts us on par with leading global digital counterparts,” Joosub said.

“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.”

The app allows consumers to do everything from paying bills to sending money and playing games and ordering takeaways.

While VodaPay will be accessible to customers on any mobile network, it will be zero-rated for Vodacom users, said Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom financial and digital services.

“To drive financial inclusion, we want to offer the capabilities of the VodaPay mini programs to as many businesses, of all sizes, across multiple industries as possible”

Shameel Joosub – CEO, Vodacom

Some 70 businesses have already signed up or have committed to building their own mini-programs in the app, including Makro, Builders Warehouse, Clicks, Edgars, Game, Exclusive Books, Big Blue, FlightSite, Dollar Thrifty, West Pack, Petzone, OneCart, NetFlorist, Kitkat Cash & Carry, Droppa, Planet54, Jacaranda FM, KFC,, Travelstart, Hannah Lavery, Michelle Ludek, To Be Gift Boxes and Afritrails, Vodacom said.

“The VodaPay super app offers consumers a single point of entry and payment platform, with no additional download required. Mini programs can accept both physical and online payments from customers with the in-app VodaPay digital wallet,” Vodacom explained.

“A choice is available for customers of paying upfront, with rewards, or with payment terms such as buy-now-pay-later and nano-credit offerings.”

This comes as another leading telecommunication company Safaricom where Vodacom has a 35% shareholding, launched the M-Pesa Super App to enhance customers’ experience every time they use the service to provide them with a simple, fun, secure and convenient digital solution.

A key benefit of using the M-Pesa app is that it allows one to confirm all their transactions before completion, providing you with increased accuracy, ensuring that your transactions reach the intended recipient.

With the zero-rated app, our customers will be able to use the App in ‘Offline’ mode even when they do not have data and also empower small businesses and app users with the ability to send money to multiple people using only one authentication.

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