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Vodacom allows customers to buy lunch and pay later

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 15 Apr 2021
Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.
Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.

Vodacom customers can now buy lunch and pay later through the telco’s new financial offering, Voucher Advance.

The new lending proposition from the mobile operator allows Vodacom customers access to a voucher starting from R25, interest-free, from a food outlet, or a R250 voucher from a retailer.

Once a voucher has been issued, customers will have 30 days to pay back their Voucher Advance. Vouchers are valid for three years from issue date.

To qualify for Voucher Advance, customers need to have been active on the Vodacom network for at least six months, as well as have a track record of buying airtime or data bundles.

This is the latest in a series of lending propositions Vodacom has launched in recent months, as it gains ground in financial services.

Vouchers can be accessed through the My Vodacom App and the company says a USSD functionality will be introduced at a later stage to accommodate all customers.

The company has been aggressively entering the financial services market, leveraging its over 43 million active customers.

Vodacom already offer its customers Airtime Advance, which it says now has around 11 million active users.

SA’s leading telco also recently started extending loans to small, medium and micro enterprises to help them deal with cashflow challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was followed by a Vodacom, Alipay alliance to “develop a super-app” that it said would “bring to life a marketplace of goods and services” tailored for SA, underpinned by “a digital payments ecosystem designed to serve both the banked and unbanked parts of the population”.

Last month, Vodacom continued its foray into the financial services market, launching a supplier portal, VodaTrade, targeting small enterprises, assisting them to unlock business opportunities and transact securely.

The digital trading platform connects SMEs to new business prospects, providing analytics, while assisting them with receiving orders, catalogue management and invoicing.

Now, with the new offering, Mariam Cassim, chief officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services, says: “Voucher Advance is yet another innovative addition to our lending product suite, which showcases our commitment towards greater financial inclusion within communities in South Africa.”

Additionally, Quintin Van Vuuren, executive head of lending at Vodacom Financial Services, says: “We, as a business, are also mindful of the fact that South Africans face tough economic challenges. Our primary focus is to deliver seamless and rewarding experiences for customers and vendors in a cost-efficient way.

“With our digital lending solutions, we will continue to focus on addressing the challenges related to financial inclusion by going beyond traditional methods. We will continue to innovate to ensure all customers have access to financial services solutions, including those who are unbanked.”