In South Africa, OLX buyers pay in the WeChat app

12 Jul 2017

We’ve reported before, that Tencent’s messenger WeChat also welcomes businesses, and that OLX South Africa was one of the earliest adopters (among stuff sites) of this channel. Gumtree was another.

Now, buyers of items on OLX in WeChat can also pay sellers in-app and sellers can commission a courier on WeChat to deliver their items to buyers.

With 938 million users, WeChat is the second most popular messenger app in the world after WhatsApp. WeChat Africa is a joint venture between Naspers and China’s Tencent to establish the app in Africa (among others). 

WeChat bundles business accounts under the label “official accounts”, and enables users to “follow” businesses. Why would users want to do that? Well, it’s another easy way to connect with brands, celebrities, shows, and services. In South Africa, for instance, WeChat users can listen to live radio on CliffCentral, or order food for home delivery – all without leaving the WeChat app. And now they can browse OLX, and make peer-to-peer payments in the WeChat environment (not in the OLX environment), once the buyer and seller have connected as friends on WeChat

Users make payments from their wallets on WeChat. Read all about these wallets and WeChat’s take on peer-to-peer payment here.

Read more on WeChat South Africa’s “official accounts” here. And look at some of them here. And here are a few screenshots of OLX on WeChat. WeChat South Africa wasn’t available to answer our questions.

On June 26, OLX Group CEO Martin Scheepbouwer said (here) the company will experiment with peer-to-peer payments solutions in four countries, namely UAE, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Brazil. A spokesperson of OLX Bulgaria subsequently told us their site’s solution was still under development.

On June 30, Marktplaats.nl, the leading general classifieds site in the Netherlands, announced the addition of a peer-to-peer payments system to its site (here).

On July 10, LeBonCoin, the leading general classifieds site in France (and a worldwide benchmark), said (here) it’ll launch an in-house developed payments system for users sometime next year.

Footnote: Tencent Africa will launch two new products this year: Joox, a mobile music-streaming app and Voov, a live video-streaming app, according to the company (here). 

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Christo Volschenk

Christo Volschenk is managing editor of the news on Aimgroup.com and our senior analyst covering Naspers. He brings more than 31 years of experience in business journalism to the team - the last 18 years focused on classifieds and e-commerce. Apart from working closely with the AIM Group, Christo is a freelance journalist, content manager, and copy editor. Before branching out on his own, he spent 15 years with Naspers in South Africa as journalist, economics editor and online project manager. He now spends most his day editing the news reported by 23 colleagues in 23 countries from his base in Stuttgart, Germany.