Cassava Fintech International (CFI), in partnership with its local subsidiary Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, and with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, have launched SASAI, an integrated social payments platform that combines Payments, Chat and Entertainment services on one single App.
“We are excited to bring to the Zimbabwean market a service that has no peers in this country or in any other African country in terms of its utility value, its relevancy and the convenience of its features,” said Mr Darlington Mandivenga, the London- based Group CEO of CFI, at the official launch of SASAI in Harare last night (Thursday, August 1, 2019).
SASAI, which is available on Google Play store and the Apple App Store, combines mobile payments, social media and instant messaging, as well as entertainment – all on one App.
Mr Mandivenga said he was delighted that users had already started using the App.
“We are delighted by public’s interest in SASAI this early on, and are confident that very soon SASAI will be the App of choice in Zimbabwe and across Africa,” Mr Mandivenga said.
The public interest in SASAI comes amid strong endorsements of the new App by leading bloggers and tech sites that have had an opportunity to test and use the App ahead of launch. In separate reviews posted on their sites, the tech bloggers hail SASAI as one of the most important Apps to be developed and released to the local and African markets.
In its review, Techunzipped called SASAI the “complete mobile communication tool from Cassava Fintech” which presents a “multipurpose smartphone application, going beyond the features offered by its counterparts WhatsApp, Telegram and the like”. It goes on to say one can have “live chat sessions with many friends on SASAI, with the (ability) of making voice calls”. It gives high marks to SASAI video call quality, saying “video calls on SASAI are in full duplex and are of high quality compared to that of other commonly used Apps”.
Another leading tech site Technomag, in a wide review entitled ‘SASAI, Why You May Fall in Love with the New Social Media App From Cassava’, described the payments option on the SASAI App as “massive!”. It said “the real big deal for SASAI is going to be its capacity to make in-App payments”.
The review also lauds SASAI for having “the SnapChat feature that allows you to simply scan the QR code to get contacts or save one’s contact”.
The App was got a favourable review by Techzim, which compared it with Chinese giant Tencent’s successful social payments platform WeChat.
Mr Mandivenga said SASAI had no direct competitors in the country and on the continent, as well as in the world except WeChat, adding that Cassava International would be taking SASAI across Africa.
Mr Nigel Mugamu, founder of popular online publication 263Chat, said he believed it was time Africans rolled out their own innovations, and dared to take on established products from the West and the far East.
“I am happy for Cassava and would like to congratulate them for launching a really good App, that I believe will give established Western and Eastern chat and payment apps a good run for their money – it was about time,” said one of the pioneers of social media blogs in Zimbabwe.
Mr Mandivenga said while the launch version of SASAI included fully functional Pay, Chat and Explore features, there would be scheduled updates and monthly releases of additional features and on-boarded partners.
“We would like to walk the SASAI journey with our users and partners, listening to their feedback and understanding their needs, instead of front loading too many features all at once,” said Mr Mandivenga.
He said beyond Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi – where the product was simultaneously launched yesterday – SASAI would target the African market, where the Cassava Fintech International already has access to over 200 million wallets connected through its Cassava Payment Gateway across 22 countries on the continent.
“We have to take advantage of the spread and ubiquity of our Cassava Payment Gateway across Africa to penetrate the continent with this product. We have done our research; this is a product ‘out of Africa and for Africa’ which we believe is set to establish the continent on the world stage,” said Mr Mandivenga.
He said across Africa, the platform will be available to individuals and businesses and will be typically offered in partnership with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
In Zimbabwe, Mr Mandivenga said SASAI would exploit the synergies across its Fintech, Insurtech, eCommerce, On Demand Services, Healthtech and Agritech to provide an unparalleled service offer on one App.
He said he believed Cassava International had a compelling business case for banks and MNOs to engage in viable partnerships across its African footprint, to provide digital solutions that create value and transform lives.
Cassava Fintech International is an African Fintech and technology company. It is a subsidiary of the Econet Group and it is the parent company of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.