South African Vodacom brings cash advances to apps

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The telecom-led financial revolution continues in Africa. This time it’s South Africa’s Vodacom Financial Services that has extended the reach of digital finance with VodaLend Cash Advance, described as a product that gives customers fast and secure access to cash when they need it. Not needed anymore.


The new addition, available exclusively to Vodacom customers through the VodaPay super app, is aimed at underbanked consumers who need fast, barrier-free access to funds, whatever (to use examples given by Vodacom) , it is an emergency visit to a doctor or a pre-paid electricity recharge just before payday.

Vodacom customers can access a cash advance from R50 (just under US$3) and up to R500 (US$29.51), with the option to settle on seven, 14, 21 or 28 days.

In addition to regulatory requirements for affordability verification, the credit decision process is enhanced by also looking at a Vodacom customer’s charging and payment behavior. This ensures that the service is accessible to more people, including new borrowers who can now enjoy the benefits of a secure and regulated lending solution.

Once approved, the money is advanced directly to the user’s VodaPay wallet. It can be used instantly for in-app purchases, not only for paying bills, but also for scanning in stores and sending money to friends and family.

Mariam Cassim, managing director of Vodacom Financial Services, points out that the new system “provides affordable access to loan products for those who need these services the most, but who have historically been prevented from doing so due to high fees and hard-to-navigate paperwork.” It’s also accessible in-app on a trusted digital platform and, in most cases, much cheaper than using an independent credit provider.

VodaLend Cash Advance is the latest product to be added to the VodaLend financial services suite, which includes VodaLend Compare, Voucher Advance and Airtime Advance.

Since its launch in October last year, Vodacom says the VodaPay super app has attracted 2.8 million downloads.

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