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Nedbank launches tech-based solution that revolutionises the way South Africans shop and sell

A first on the African continent, Nedbank answers the call to go beyond banking.

Johannesburg, 20 May 2020
Read time 2min 40sec

“Today's banks have an opportunity and a responsibility, to do far more for their customers than merely provide financial services. Platform ecosystems are the perfect way for them to deliver these comprehensive value propositions that their customers deserve,” says Ciko Thomas, Managing Executive: Retail and Business Banking at Nedbank.

Nedbank's move to become a ‘digital-first’ financial services provider led to the successful launch of the Nedbank API Marketplace, a first-in-Africa platform aligned to open banking standards which creates opportunities to disrupt the traditional approach to banking and financial services while laying the groundwork for a truly client-centred, market-oriented and innovation-driven future in the digital world.

“Introducing Avo, the Super App by Nedbank. Created to bring customers and businesses together, accurately matching customers' lifestyle needs to product and service offerings through powerful artificial intelligence, safe and secure payments, and bank-grade security,” says Fred Swanepoel, Chief Information Officer of Nedbank.

The term “Super App” refers to a multitude of apps aggregated into one. This means that customers and businesses can manage their daily lives through one app, breaking through the digital clutter on mobile. As Nedbank continues to test the market, it has filed eight provisional patents relating to the Avo platform – a great feat for platform innovation in Africa.

Due to the launch to 30 000 staff members in the midst of the COVID-19 national lockdown, Nedbank was driven to reposition the Super App’s offering to not only be level-five-compliant but create a trusted lockdown companion for its staff.

Its plans had to pivot from a physical-activation-led launch, to a purely digital and essential-needs-based approach.

The beta version of Avo has been delivering essential goods, providing home entertainment and connecting home service providers across provinces. These are just a few of Avo’s proudest feats as we move into the next stage of the launch plan.

To date, Avo has reached the milestone of over 5 000 customers registered and 170 registered home repair and services merchants. With requests flying in daily, Avo may just be the platform small businesses need to survive during the national lockdown period.

What’s next for Avo?

The Avo beta release to Nedbank Money App users has begun. This will see the phased release of Avo to Nedbank clients, to allow for further enhancements before full public launch. The beta will allow Nedbank Money App users to use a two-click process to sign up seamlessly onto Avo, and allow this Super App to empower the way they do life.

"For us at Nedbank, that capacity to add massive value to every aspect of a person's life or business is what makes a platform ecosystem really worthwhile," Thomas concludes, "and this new digital engagement platform is a massive next step for us on this journey to be more than a bank, but rather through leveraging our digital leadership to be a creator, facilitator and enabler of real and lasting value."

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