After four years of pulling off its signature M-Pesa services from the market of South Africa, Vodacom has now launched Alipay services in the country, the media reported.
Vodacom has partnered with Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay to launch the services in South Africa.
Vodacom gave up on M-Pesa in its biggest market, despite its success in other markets in which it operates, including Kenya (where sister company Safaricom pioneered M-Pesa) and Tanzania.
According to Vodacom, the Alipay app will offer a marketplace of goods and services tailored to South African customer needs.
Vodacom said in a statement, “Customers and merchants will all find each other on one affordable platform, operated by Vodacom Financial Services, with Alipay as the technology provider.”
“In addition to the benefits associated with accessibility and affordability, there will also be support offered to the SME businesses such as bespoke, programmatic advertising as well as real-time and direct marketing solutions — all zero-rated for customer consumption.”
Vodacom Group chief executive officer Shameel Joosub said that the Vodacom deal is the first time it has licensed the Alipay technology platform to a third party without taking an equity stake in the venture.
He said in a statement, “We already offer South African customers an ecosystem of innovative digital financial services products, but this technology partnership with Alipay will enable us to be on par with leading global digital counterparts quicker and more efficiently.”
Last month, Vodacom Group has appointed Sitho Mdlalose, currently the executive director: finance of Vodacom South Africa, as an interim chief financial officer to replace Till Streichert, who vacated his post at the month.