Telecommunications operator Telkom has ventured into the financial services sector with the launch of Telkom Financial Services.
In a newspaper advert on Sunday, the partly state-owned company said the new business will offer four new services – Pay, Lend, Insure and Transact.
The move is part of its strategy to diversify revenue streams beyond its mainstay fixed-line business and to bring down barriers for SMMEs in the economy, Telkom said.
The company also hopes to tap into an estimated 11 million South Africans who do not have bank accounts to offer them these services.
Telkom funeral insurance
“In recent years, Telkom has made a strategic shift to digital distribution, which puts it in an ideal position to distribute insurance products using its considerable digital structure and intellectual property,” Sibusiso Ngwenya, Telkom Financial Services’ managing executive, said.
Telkom Financial Services will initially sell funeral insurance and will be underwritten by Guardrisk Life, which is part of the larger Momentum group.
Premiums start from R32 and options include Main Member Only, Main Member & Spouse, Main Member & Children, Family Funeral Cover and Extended Family. Click here for more details on Telkom’s website.
Pay, Lend and Transact
Telkom Financial Services will also offer business loans and enable businesses to accept card payments and instant electronic fund transfers (EFTs).
“We will soon enable digital wallet solutions for customers to buy products and pay for services via our Yep! app, website, as well as other online tracking platforms,” the company added.
Telkom launched Yep! in June as a digital marketplace “where customers can safely search for and purchase from small, trusted businesses.” It has had more than 500,000 signups on the platform so far.
Telkom’s move into financial services comes months after MTN SA relaunched its MoMo mobile money service, which now has more than a million users in South Africa.
Vodacom has also announced plans to launch an app, in partnership with Alipay, that will enable South Africans to shop online, pay bills and send money to family and friends.