Vodacom Prepares To Launch Alibaba Financial Services App In Egypt

  • Vodacom Group Ltd VDMCY VODAF plans to mark the debut of its financial-services products in Egypt, using the super app the wireless carrier developed alongside China’s Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd BABA Bloomberg reports.
  • The Johannesburg-based company won approvals to buy the Egypt business from its parent, Vodafone Group Plc VOD, for $2.7 billion, CEO Shameel Joosub said in an interview. 
  • Vodacom also negotiated the terms of a mobile-money license in Ethiopia, where it will likely use the M-Pesa platform of Kenyan partner Safaricom Ltd.
  • Also Read: Vodafone Divests Stake In $16B Tower Business
  • “We see double-digit growth in financial services for the foreseeable future,” Joosub said by phone after Vodacom reported first-half earnings that missed analyst estimates. “In Egypt, we want to start the full Alipay platform soon, and we expect to start our mobile-money services in Ethiopia by early next year.”
  • Africa-focused telecom operators have invested heavily in financial-technology products to boost revenue on a continent that lacks physical banking infrastructure. 
  • Vodacom and Alibaba’s super app, called Vodapay, enables subscribers to access a broad range of services, including taking out loans, shopping online, and making standard mobile payments, similar to Tencent Holding Ltd’s TCEHY WeChat.
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