Vodacom Group is now offering cash advances to its underbanked client base in South Africa as the telecommunications provider pushes deeper into financial services.
The company said on Tuesday that the new product, called VodaLend Cash Advance, gives customers “quick and secure access to money when they need it most”.
Customers can access a cash advance of between R50 and R500, with the option to settle it over seven, 14, 21 or 28 days. Fees are also lower than traditional short-term cash advance providers, it said.
VodaLend Cash Advance is the latest product to be added to the VodaLend financial services suite, which includes VodaLend Compare, Voucher Advance and the popular Airtime Advance.
Affordability checks are in place, and the decision process around issuing credit is “enhanced by looking at a Vodacom customer’s recharge and payment behaviour”, Vodacom said in a statement.
“This ensures that the service can be accessed by more people, including first-time borrowers, who can now enjoy the benefits of a secure, regulated lending solution,” it said.
“Once approved, the money is advanced directly into the user’s VodaPay Wallet. It can be used instantly for in-app purchases, including buying prepaid electricity and water, paying bills, scan-to-pay in shops, and sending money to friends and family.”
“The new addition is geared towards underbanked consumers who need quick and barrier-free access to funds, whether it’s an emergency doctor’s visit or topping up prepaid electricity just before payday,” Vodacom said. The product is available through Vodacom’s VodaPay “super app”.
“With only 26 million South African consumers having a formal credit record, there is still a significant part of the population that doesn’t have access to formal financial services. VodaLend Cash Advance provides affordable access to lending products for those who need these services most, but who have historically been prevented from doing so due to high fees and difficult-to-navigate paperwork,” said Vodacom Financial Services CEO Mariam Cassim in the statement.