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Vodacom to offer Africa’s first super-app alongside Alibaba

VODACOM Group has developed Africa’s first super-app with help from China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., allowing subscribers a broad range of services including taking out loans, shopping online and making standard mobile payments.

The app, called VodaPay, will be available to South African customers in coming weeks, and will help Vodacom expand financial and e-commerce services in its home market in the absence of new high-speed broadband spectrum. The app is comparable to Tencent Holding Ltd.’s WeChat, used by more than a billion people, Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview.

‘The world is moving toward e-commerce, and while leveraging off what we already have we also need to grow that side,’ he said.

Mobile operators in Africa have invested heavily in financial technology to fill a gap left by a lack of physical banking infrastructure. Vodacom’s Johannesburg rival, MTN Group Ltd., is looking to carve out and possibly list its financial-services business, while Airtel Africa Plc is looking at similar options.

Vodacom, majority owned by the UK’s Vodafone Group Plc, is looking to expand its financial-technology offering in South Africa while waiting for the government’s long-promised auction of spectrum, which it says is needed to expand broadband service and bring down data prices. The super-app partnership also represents an expansion opportunity for Alipay, which has been battling an antitrust probe in China.

Kenyan Partner

Vodacom’s push into e-commerce will be replicated by Kenyan partner Safaricom Plc, whose M-Pesa mobile-money service accounts for about a third of revenue, Joosub said. M-Pesa will start offering more online retail and financial products in Vodacom’s international markets such as Tanzania, the CEO said, alongside its core payments business.

Vodacom upgraded its profitability targets on improved prospects for Safaricom and other businesses outside South Africa, while announcing improved full-year earnings and sales. Operating profit is now expected to increase by mid-to-high single digits over the next three years, the company said in a statement, up from a mid-single digit target set in November.

The company is awaiting a response from the Ethiopian government on an approach to buy one of two new operating licenses in the country, alongside partners Safaricom and Vodafone.

‘Key to our business case is our mobile money and financial-services proposition, so if we are successful with the license in Ethiopia, we will be encouraging government to license those services too,’ said Joosub.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. There is a Super App currently operating in over 151 countries and it’s called the ECO-6 Lumi (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.swifin.platform.eco6lumi to access the Swifin Platform (https://platform.swifin.com/about/). The Swifin Platform is a financial inclusion platform for members. Regulated member institutions and Digital Financial Services Providers such as Banks, Microfinance Institutions, Credit Unions and Community Savings and Loans Organisations leverage the Swifin Platform to deliver real time payments and related merchant services for platform members in real time to drive financial inclusion and active participation in the modern global digital economy.
    Lumi is a digital currency issued by Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong. It is backed by solar energy. Lumi is also known as African Kingdoms Lumi (AKL). AKL1 = US$15.96 = 0.2592 grams = 4 grains of gold = 100kWH of energy. The LUMI aka AKL: African Kingdoms Lumi (https://www.eco-6.com/copy-of-lumi-currency) is one of the few that qualifies to be considered as real money due to be the following reasons:
    1. The LUMI is a classic digital currency issued by Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong.
    2. The LUMI is underwritten completely by solar energy and convertible into gold
    3. The LUMI is now listed amongst the most valuable currencies in the world
    AKL1 = 0.2592 grams = 4 grains of gold = 100kWH of energy = US$15.96.
    Digital LUMI
    Powerful currencies within the Arab community, such as the Kuwait Dinar and the Oman Rial, have derived their distinct economic value through a correlation with petroleum energy. However, as the international community works together to decrease carbon emissions and man-made climate change, the LUMI puts the global African family in a strategic leadership position for the 21st Century.
    Each LUMI is underwritten by 100 solar-kilowatt-hours of energy, and it is issued in both physical notes and digital denominations. For users around the world, digital LUMI can interface with smartphones, smart-watches, personal computers, and can interoperate with existing payment systems. It has been distributed in over 124 countries within 4 months of issue.
    The LUMI has already been applauded by financial engineers as a transformative instrument of monetary policy, and central banks around the world are quickly seeking to duplicate the Bank of Accompong’s digital currency framework. The governments of Denmark, Sweden, and China have begun testing digital currencies, and the US Feds are also considering issuing a digital currency in 2021.
    The unique strength and attraction of the LUMI is its classic approach to monetary instruments which stipulates that all currencies should meet the general criteria of ‘money’ as it is defined by its most conventional function and definition:
    • Money is a medium of exchange that facilitates economic transactions
    • Money is a store of real value;
    • Money is a unit of account for the pricing of goods and services;

    Fiat currency does not satisfy the second criteria and consequently has become the cause of global economic turmoil. Whether it is circulated by physical notes or digital notes, fiat currency is fundamentally worthless as a monetary instrument and has destroyed African economies both on the continent and throughout the Sixth Region.
    The LUMI, with its fixed nominal terms and universal accessibility, carries with it the fiscal integrity that belongs to real money. Each issued LUMI is underwritten by one hundred kilowatt-hours of solar energy. The currency valuation against gold-grains is a parity of 1-to-4, where one LUMI equals the market value of 4 grains of gold.

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