Financial Services
    28 January 2021

    Aiden Sookdin

    Lessons learnt in the development of a Super App

    Building the Vodacom Super App is no mean feat, these are some of the learnings from the journey thus far. 

    Vodacom Financial Services is currently developing a a super app that links South African merchants, suppliers and consumers on one affordable platform, and delivers a seamless and value-adding experience to everyone who uses it, in a cost-efficient way.

    Not only will the app allow you to transact safely, it also brings together consumers and merchants in a virtual marketplace, impacting every aspect of a user’s life. Those using the app will be able to pay for their morning coffee, listen to a podcast, manage their business, send and receive money, pay bills, shop online and even monitor and manage their monthly spending. All from the convenience of a smart phone.

    Understanding the real problems that we need to solve

    In developing the super app, VodaPay has conducted in depth research to understand user concerns in transacting in a completely digital landscape. The findings were significant and provides a clearer understanding of the problems fintech companies need to solve during this challenging time.

    Security is of utmost importance

    When transacting online, South African consumers and merchants need to know that their personal information, especially banking information is kept safe and secure. Fintech solutions need to implement strong security measures to put users’ minds at ease. Further to that, this is a key consideration that should be addressed in all marketing and communications in order to build trust and elevate the user experience.

    Convenience and user experience

    Catering the to the needs of the user has never been as important as it is today. Not only must navigation be fast and seamless, consumers have stated that the less clicks required to perform transactions, the better. The real challenge for fintech solutions now is to find a balance between robust security measures and the efficiency of the user experience.

    Cost of e-commerce transacting  

    In South Africa, the smaller your business, the higher your transacting fees. As a consumer the less money you earn, the higher your interest rates are. This means that merchants and consumers on the lower end of the income spectrum are often charged much higher fees and interest rates than those who earn more.

    When it comes to the world of digital transactions, fintech organisations should aim to even the playing field and reduce the cost of accessing financial services in order to attract more clients and deliver exceptional financial services for all at an affordable cost.  

    Reduce the administrative burden to access financial services

    Tedious application processes, long turnaround times and demands for reams of documentation make access to finance significantly harder than it should be. This is a major reason why SMMEs are failing during this time. Business funding support to keep companies afloat during lockdown, hasn’t been comprehensive enough given the severe economic impact of the pandemic.

    Small business owners are experts in their field and industry. They often don’t have the resources or time to navigate the complex financial environment. This problem is compounded when it’s no longer “business as usual”. Fintech organisations can make a positive impact by introducing digital end-to-end solutions with more efficient application processes and faster turnaround times in providing feedback to applicants. 


    Aiden Sookdin