• Home
  • /
  • Fintech
  • /
  • SA fintech startup launches WhatsApp payment bot

SA fintech startup launches WhatsApp payment bot

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 16 Feb 2024
Danielle Laity, GM at WigWag.
Danielle Laity, GM at WigWag.

WigWag, a subsidiary of South African payment service provider Stitch, has released an AI-powered WhatsApp payment management bot. Targeted at the small and medium market space, the bot aims to eliminate the hassle of juggling multiple apps and browsers to manage payments.

WigWag is a new entrant into the payment space, having launched in September 2023. Its parent company Stitch is focused on the enterprise market and enables businesses to accept, reconcile and orchestrate payments, and oversee financial processes. 

Danielle Laity, general manager at WigWag, explained why the subsidiary was established.

“Payments are not a one-size-fits-all. Startups, small businesses, independent contractors, and budding social sellers are still looking for an easy way to get paid – but without complex technical integrations while still receiving great service and reliable technology. We saw an opportunity to serve these businesses with an easy-to-use solution that runs on top of the Stitch infrastructure," says Laity.

The use of WhatsApp as a primary platform to engage its market is a key aspect of its strategy. WigWag cites a study by VodaFone and SafariCom which found that WhatsApp was the most popular social media platform in South Africa, with an estimated 93% of internet users, roughly 23 million people, currently using the messaging app, expected to increase to 28.6 million by 2026.

The WigWag assistant is designed for business owners and operators who interact with their clients on WhatsApp already or run other operational aspects of their business through the chat app.

The company also points to research by World Economics, which shows that SMEs and informal sellers make up 28.8% of South African businesses, with many leveraging social media for marketing and sales. 

Additionally, according to, the social commerce industry in South Africa is projected to grow by 63.7% annually to reach $1.36 billion by 2023, with a further expected CAGR of 38.4% from 2022 to 2028.

Mobile security

Asked about the issue of mobile device security, Laity says in addition to having access to Stitch 'enterprise-grade payments infrastructure', WigWag is fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI 1 DSS}, developed to protect transactions and cardholders’ personal information.

To ensure that only legitimate businesses join WigWag, there is a thorough digital onboarding process. It involves verifying their business through rigorous checks, including querying databases and conducting specific checks ourselves, says Laity.

WigWag says there is no charge to open an account, but there is a percentage fee per transaction, and this starts at 2.95% for local cards and tiers down with volume.