In recent years, the super apps market in Africa has seen significant growth. Despite the fact that the market is still in the nascent stage, the large growth potentiality is attracting investments. According to PayNXT360, the market will attract more product launches in the short to medium term.
Unlike Asia, where supper apps are already available in large numbers, the segment is slowly proliferating in Africa lately. Given the African context, the super app model is also one of those which makes sense for mobile wallet providers. For instance, Africa draws several parallels to Asia. The most significant of which include increasing population, increased mobile adoption, fastest-growing consumer markets, and a mobile-first approach to innovation.
Similar to Asia, the population in Africa is also young and growing fast, most of which are willing to adopt mobile-based technologies. Moreover, more than 60% of the sub-Saharan Africans fall under the unbanked category. For people with bank accounts, high transaction costs, inconvenient payment options, and fragmented markets present a lot of challenges. Therefore, if done well, mobile wallet providers can remove these barriers and provide better access to financial services through supper apps.
Vodacom and Alibaba built a partnership to launch VodaPay
Vodacom, one of the key wireless carriers in Africa, has developed VodaPay, a super app in partnership with the Alibaba Group in May 2021. With Vodacom Financial Services as the operator and Alipay as the technology provider, the super app will allow both consumers and merchants to transact on one affordable platform in South Africa.
The super app allows users to shop online, make mobile payments, and apply for digital loans. Moreover, the super app also provides other services such as online gaming, on-demand streaming, ride-sharing, and many other services.
Foraying into the super app category is a great opportunity for Vodacom to boost growth, as it will allow the wireless carrier to serve a large portion of the unbanked population. Additionally, the partnership is expected to widen Alipay’s consumer base in the country. Therefore, PayNXT360 expects the partnership to become a key revenue and profit growth driver for both companies.
The path ahead
With the mobile-first approach and the growing consumer segment, the supper app provides an excellent opportunity for mobile wallets and telecom players in Africa to boost their growth. However, with only a handful of players in the region, PayNXT360 expects the sector to expand with new partnerships and investment in the super app category.