SA startup launches new app digitising the informal market

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AfriNova Digital, a local tech startup has launched an online app that allows users to make digital payments for their accounts, loans, traffic fines, DSTv subscription, and more. 

Users can also purchase prepaid electricity from various municipalities including Cape Town, Mangaung, Johannesburg to name a few.

AfriNova Digital launches app for consumers. Users can purchase over 200 products via digiToken

Titled, digiToken, the app caters to individuals who are digitally excluded from the market in Africa, providing a much-needed service to users in rural areas. 

AfriNova’s digiToken

AfriNova Digital is a company that builds digital products for education and training, utilities, municipalities, cities, and retail. 

The app was launched in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, eliminating one-on-one contact and the need to visit ‘busy’ public spaces, overall promoting social distancing for users.  

Launched in August 2020, digiToken has been founded by entrepreneurs Kagisho Dichabe and Xolisa Vuza and allows locals to purchase essential items from the comfort of their homes via their smartphone devices. 

 In an official press, Xolisa Vuza, Co-Founder of digiToken, explains that the innovative platform is aimed at townships in Africa.

“This is the perfect solution, creating convenience as people do not need to leave their homes to pay for monthly accounts like DSTv, bank loans, and funeral covers; buy airtime or electricity, which many still find very prevalent within the South African market particularly in the Townships and surrounding areas”.

The platform caters to users with both debit and credit banking accounts along with users who do not have a bank account. Users without a bank account can make use of digiToken’s smart wallet featured, digiWallet, allowing customers to purchase products available on the platform.

In addition, the app does not apply a service fee similar to that of traditional banks, users are not charged transaction fees when using the digiWallet to purchase electricity or airtime. 

The app can be downloaded on both Android and iOs devices.

digiToken, Facebook

Generating inclusivity 

This self-funded company, AfriNova Digital, has grown since the launch of digiToken as new customers have registered to join the transactions of purchasing essential items via the app.

The app aims to broaden the company’s online market, ensure inclusivity among Africans residing in rural areas with no access to the digital market, and to drive the economic activity of the informal market. 

The app will facilitate activities in the digital market for those who rely heavily on cash, individuals who do not have a bank account, and those who depend on shared value. 

In an effort to stimulate job creation among the unemployed youth in South Africa, AfriNova Digital has launched the #1000AgentsJobs campaign, where young South Africans can sign up to sell any prepaid product that is capable of being distributed as tokens or a voucher via digiToken. 

Vuza explains how to access the services provided on the platform and how it relates to creating job opportunities.

“With the current unemployment rate skyrocketing in South Africa, AfriNova Digital has found an innovative way to help and ease this challenge with digiToken platform. The services available on the platform can be bought by yourself directly or can be bought from someone else using the same platform. digiToken supports various users – creating employment opportunities for consumers and small businesses as the Agent and sub-Agent. Anyone who wants to sell digiToken products and services does not need to buy any infrastructure like printers, but they can start to operate sooner and without any hassle.”

Modes of operation

AfriNova Digital has two modes of operation which are the client, known as the direct buyer, and the agent, who is selling on behalf of digiToken. 

The product setlist continues to broaden with the goal to strengthen the value of the company’s mission of providing convenience in the user’s pockets. 

The company collaborates with its partners to improve product strategy and is in the process of discussing expansion with potential investors. AfriNova Digital hopes to expand to the rest of Africa and some parts of Europe as the platform is built to be scalable and extensible. 

Read more: New programme launches to digitise SA township SMEs
Read more: Botswana tech startup launches digital marketplace for SMEs

Featured image: Shawn Fields via Unsplash

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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