The evolution of value-added services in South Africa

The history of value-added services in South Africa


The introduction of value-added services (VAS) in South Africa dates back to the early 1980s. Since then, the sale of digital products and services have seen tremendous growth, and this trend is set to continue well into the future. The VAS industry’s worth is currently estimated at over R27 billion a month.

The VAS industry has seen key stakeholders and role players change. Here are some of the key milestones in the VAS industry over the past 30 years:

The 1980s

  • Introducing credit cards and EFT point-of-sale cards.
  • Introducing cash withdrawals at point-of-sale.

The 1990s

  • Introducing bill payments at point-of-sale.
  • Purchasing prepaid electricity and airtime, which later included selling stamps, booking events, getting insurance products and buying tickets for travel.
  • Credit and debit cards have become a dominant form of payment.

The 2000s

  • Launching funeral cover self-enrolment starter packs sold by retailers.
  • Launching domestic money transfer.
  • Increasing smartphone ownership, which played a big role in mobile VAS transactions.

The 2010s

  • Offering bank clients the option to buy prepaid airtime and electricity via their cellphone

The VAS evolution

Typically, VAS in retail, banks and major network operators were broadly defined and mainly facilitated via payment software.

South Africans no longer view VAS as ‘add-on’ items to their purchases. The digital services offered by their banks, stores and mobile networks have become an essential item and part of their buying journey.

VAS that are no longer restricted to a retailer’s point-of-sale device has the potential to become valuable revenue streams for businesses.

Adding VAS as an offering

The VAS industry is expected to see a year-on-year growth for both revenue and technology. All role players understand that it is crucial to keep up with this fast-evolving landscape, hold on to a competitive advantage in the market, stay relevant to consumers and generate revenue.

f businesses are falling behind with VAS industry trends, they may soon find themselves in trouble as technology is developing at a rapid pace.

The Nedbank Value Added Services API gives businesses the ability to purchase and sell products, such as prepaid airtime and data, electricity, vouchers and coupons, to their customers. The key feature of the VAS API is the real-time purchase capabilities for products mentioned above as well as prepaid water and playing Lotto.

Remember, the VAS API is secured with a client ID secret authentication, ensuring industry-standard authentication of business partners using this API.

For more information on Nedbank API Marketplace and how you could use APIs for your business, please contact us or register your interest here.

Legal Line/Disclaimer:
This information is for general information purposes only and is not legal advice.