South Africa: Telkom Launches Whatsapp Payment Services


By Isaac K. Kassouwi

 In South Africa, Telkom’s subscribers can now pay for services and products directly via Whatsapp. The new feature is based on the “Chat 2 Pay” solution from Clickatell, a mobile communications and chat-commerce company.

With this innovation, Telkom’s postpaid and prepaid customers can pay their phone and xDSL/fiber bills, top up their accounts and buy new service plans (call, data, SMS) by sending messages to the mobile operator’s WhatsApp chatbot. Payments can be made via Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards, we learn.

The new service is part of Telkom’s efforts to provide innovative products and services to its subscribers, diversify its revenue streams, and become more competitive in the South African market. In October 2022, the operator launched the commercial 5G and is considering launching a mobile virtual network. 

In addition, the introduction of financial payments through WhatsApp coincides with Telkom’s telecom services tariff increase. The tariff adjustment, which will come into effect next April 1, is expected to enable the company to better address the economic challenges facing South African telecom operators.

The move comes at a time when social media adoption is growing rapidly in South Africa. According to research firm Statista, the number of WhatsApp users in the rainbow nation is expected to grow by 35.31 per cent to 21.42 million in 2028.

“Telkom continues to look at ways to advance our customers’ digital experiences, and our digital channels are core for future delivery. Chat 2 Pay helps us optimize our payment channels and payment collection. What’s more, the ease of and availability of VAS services is expected to further boost revenue opportunities,” said Telkom’s chief marketing officer, Gugu Mthembu,.

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