Business Insider SA
  • Nedbank has a new banking app called Avo.
  • It’s not just for banking. It lets you buy groceries, and search for a locksmith.
  • The bank has filed eight provisional patents related to Avo
  • It’s currently being tested by Nedbank Money users, before a full public launch.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The ongoing struggle between banks for app supremacy took an unusual twist this week with Nedbank’s announcement of a new app called Avo.

The company is calling Avo a "super app", because its acts more like a platform than a traditional app.

Its functions include online shopping and grocery orders, topping up home entertainment options such as Showmax, and a directory listing of home repair and services merchants. The app currently lists 170, and more will be added over time.

The bank says Avo’s development was partly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown. The test version of the app, for instance, “has been delivering essential goods, providing home entertainment and connecting home service providers across provinces,” says Nedbank.

According to Fred Swanepoel, chief information of Nedbank, Avo was “created to bring customers and businesses together, accurately matching customers' lifestyle needs to product and service offerings.”

The bank has filed eight provisional patents related to Avo.

Essentially, Nedbank wants you to manage your daily life through their app, turning to Avo for everything from buying electricity and airtime, to buying milk and bread.

According to technology analyst Arthur Goldstuck, financial services companies are increasingly becoming platform businesses, and they’re looking for ways to add value for their customers. It also helps keep you in their ecosystem.

First National Bank (FNB), for instance, has its FNB Connect service, which rewards customers with data and airtime. But most of these initiatives are connected with financial services. By partnering with grocery delivery companies and entertainment apps like Tidal, “Nedbank is looking at your lifestyle, rather than your financial life,” says Goldstuck.

Nedbank says the app is currently being tested by certain Nedbank Money App users, at which point the company will begin with a phased release “before full public launch”.

(Compiled by Edward-John Bottomley)

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