Vodacom is no longer just a mobile service provider. The rise of the super-app has spawned services like VodaLend, a financial service that offers South Africans unsecured loans (among other functions). Now there is something more: VodaLend Cash Advance.
It’s a bit like Vodacom’s Airtime Advance feature, which lets you grab some extra airtime with the promise of paying it back later. Only, the stakes are a bit higher here. But just a little. Cash advances cost between R50 and R500 per pop, so this won’t fund a wild weekend which unfortunately won’t kill you before you have to repay the money.
Voda Loan me fifty dollars until Friday?
Instead, Cash Advance is “aimed at underbanked consumers who need quick, barrier-free access to funds.” It is supposed to provide emergency money to people in need and it is relatively open. Relatively. It is only available “exclusively for Vodacom customers via the VodaPay super app”. So there is at least one obstacle to getting a little extra money to get enough bread until payday. Vodacom, obviously, doesn’t consider it minor.
As mentioned, users can borrow between R50 and R500 at a time. VodaLend Cash Advance repayment terms can be selected, with 7-day, 14-day, 21-day and 28-day terms available. One to four weeks should see you through to your next payday, but there are still financial hurdles to overcome. An accessibility assessment is carried out via the VodaPay app. In this context, Vodacom will verify the charging and payment behavior of the applicant. Since they have this data anyway, it makes sense.
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After approval, the requested sum is deposited in the user’s VodaPay wallet. This can be used on the app (for digital purchases like airtime, electricity, etc.) or sent to family members who need it.
It’s not explained what it will cost users in terms of interest, but Mariam Cassim, CEO of Vodacom Financial Services, says it’s “…it’s up to 400% cheaper than using a mashonisa.
“VodaLend Cash Advance provides affordable access to loan products for those who need these services the most but have historically been prevented from doing so due to high fees and difficult-to-navigate documents. It is also accessible in the app on a trusted digital platform, enabling a seamless, convenient and secure process for customers,” Cassim said.
It is relatively easy to access VodaLend Cash Advance through the VodaPay app. Users can select the Services option and then Finance. Cash Advance lives under this option.