The Avo by Nedbank app is a super app, which is relatively new in SA. Super apps offer a range of services on one platform, like an aggregator, with a single login.
They are popular in China, South Korea and India, where users can access messaging, restaurant reservations, taxis and movie tickets — with payment made directly through just the one app.
Avo was released during the lockdown, making it possible to arrange grocery deliveries and essential and household services on one platform. It has more than 250,000 users.
My first experience with Avo raised eyebrows. Upon set-up, it prepopulated my profile with an address I lived at more than 16 years ago, which was odd.
Once you sign up and start exploring, the app’s homepage feels overwhelming. There’s a lot going on with sections, images and scrolling banners; you don’t know where to look.
It has four main tabs at the bottom of the screen: home; Hey Ned, a chat service; a QR code scanner for payments; and your Avo wallet. The wallet lets you top up your account, pay someone, or request a payment or cash withdrawal.
On the top of the homepage, you can find categories such as groceries, eating in or out, prepaid services, banking services, a digital mall, travel, health and so forth. It takes some patience to familiarise yourself with the menu of options.
On the banking tab, I’m offered instant loans, a home buying toolkit and insurance. Health care offers meal plans, personal training, spa treatments and, coming soon, a pharmacy service.
To the left of the app, you can access a lengthy menu, which is easier on the eye than the landing page.
My first use for the app was to order food, and I opted to collect my order. But it appears that pick-up isn’t the norm. Avo support called me to make sure I knew that I didn’t order for delivery. That’s a level of detail and attention to customer care that caught me by surprise.
The app is free and open to everyone, not only Nedbank clients, and no Fica is required. It’s convenient because it consolidates services that you’d normally need multiple apps for. It takes a while to get used to it, but the individual customer care is a bonus.
The app is free to download for iPhone and Android.
Cool factor 4/5
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org