The VodaTrade platform developed by Vodacom Financial and Digital Services is starting to come alive ahead of the launch of its Super App.
The Super App, known as VodaPay, will be the central hub for its financial services and e-commerce offerings.
It will be hosting most of South Africa’s leading retail brands across all key verticals for both consumers and merchants.
VodaTrade is a supplier portal, where the small supplier will go digital and connect with big business partners.
VodaTrade is a one-stop interface for small businesses to interact with all aspects of their trade.
Some key features include analytics, receiving orders, stock and catalogue management, confirming fulfilment, and sending back an invoice.
“So, VodaTrade currently switches transactions to the value of R200 billion annually,” said Mariam Cassim, Chief Officer of Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.
“It’s a massive platform. Almost every FMCG [Fast-moving consumer goods] … every retailer is on this platform.”
They include companies like TigerBrands and Unilever
Cassim said Vodacom Financial and Digital Services had seen 4 500 small merchants signed up on the VodaTrade programme by offering payment solutions, invoice financing, and loan facilities.
“We are starting to see this platform come alive as we integrate into the POS device for our merchants as we start to do invoice financing on this platform,” said Cassim.
She added that VodaTrade is a significant source of much-needed data by Vodacom Financial and Digital Services.
This will help the Vodacom subsidiary better understand its merchants’ behaviour and provide them with a total spectrum of products and solutions.
Vodacom Financial and Digital Services are planning to integrate VodaTrade into its POS device.
“We will start to create a direct relationship between merchant and FMCG or merchant and wholesaler to start improving the life of a wholesaler,” Cassim explains.
The integration of VodaTrade into Vodacom’s POS device is likely to help companies such as Tigerbrands and Unilever send several sales reps to spaza shops to take orders and deliver products.
“What this allows for is that spaza shops can order directly through the POS device or VodaTrade, which makes larger retailers and suppliers save a lot of money,” said Cassim.
“This is because they don’t have the sales reps going out to merchants. The merchants order directly.”
VodaTrade also sets the foundation for Vodacom Financial Services to provide additional services for SME customers, such as supply chain finance.