Africa launches chat, payments app to challenge WhatsApp dominance
London, July 28, 2019 (AltAfrica)- Cassava Fintech International, the Econet Global owned company is launching a chat app targeted at the African continent this week. We first talked about the app, Sasai several weeks ago when Cassava let it slip on their website.
Sasai will of course seek to challenge or perhaps dislodge WhatsApp, the Facebook owned chat app that currently rules Africa. Although WhatsApp is the Goliath Sasai will have to slay, Sasai itself is more similar to WeChat, the Chinese behemoth of an app.
Like WeChat, Sasai combines social interaction (chatting) with payments. This is no surprise given that Cassava’s most successful business to date is a fintech: EcoCash.
In statement the financial technology \company said the new application will enable users to go beyond sending texts and videos.
“Through our super-app, customers are able to chat (text, voice and video) with their friends and relatives, send money, and pay for virtually anything, on the fly.
“We believe this holds enormous potential to drive digital payments in Africa, given the almost ubiquitous presence of mobile money, and rapid adoption of social media,” the statement said.
On Sasai users can link their preferred payment method to the app and start making purchases in app.
The unification of social chatting and payments/fintech is a growing trend globally. Tencent’s WeChat is probably the most successful case study that has inspired many others to attempt this.
WhatsApp itself will be launching WhatsApp Pay and of course their parent company, Facebook has joined forces with several global players to work on a cryptocurrency: Libra. All these developments will be interesting to see unfold on the African continent which is one of the foremost targeted regions when it comes to mobile payments solutions.