Customer Spotlight: How is Wellvis Utilizing Digital Vouchers to Power Online Payments in Nigeria?
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
In the midst of a global pandemic and stay-at-home recommendations, online and phone health services are becoming exponentially more popular. However, it is estimated that more than 2 billion people in the world today don't have access to basic financial methods, such as the ability to make and receive online payments for digital services. Interestingly, more than two-thirds of them do have access to mobile phones. Yet these individuals, who may also lack IDs, are effectively excluded from the formal financial system and may be limited to using cash. Although the rise of the development of mobile money apps partly solves the problem, it also attracts hackers - QuartzAfrica claims at least $3.2 million is estimated to have been stolen in the latest incident that happened on October 3rd, last year in Uganda. The hackers used around 2,000 mobile SIM cards to gain access to the mobile money payment system, according to local papers.
In this article, we have interviewed our customer - Wale Adeosun, MD, a CoFounder of Wellvis.org, a telemedicine solution, that has created an innovative way to help their patients pay for online services - digital payment vouchers. This is incredibly powerful because it allows unbanked individuals to easily pay for remote, digital doctor's visits and increases the company's reputation and customer trust in its service.
Read further to learn how Wellvis is utilizing digital payment vouchers to power its online health marketplace and grow its consumer base, as well as how coupon codes improved its payment security.
Wellvis.org is a one-stop online platform that provides relevant and tailored solutions to all health and wellness questions. Wellvis mission is to increase the accessibility of healthcare officials and doctors online - via video calls, one-on-one consultations, and public community forums across Africa.
Wellvis's online marketplace connects everyday patients and professionals through:
Q&A style interactions to resolve personal health worries
Access to hundreds of curated health articles on different health issues
Ask questions or chat with a doctor
An appointment with a doctor for a physical examination at a location of your choice
This online marketplace relies on both users - patients and health professionals. The company was able to generate traction from Millenials in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana who accounted for over 75% of its users.
“The digital voucher is a great alternative for those who are not able to use credit or debit cards.”
- Wale Adeosun, MD, Co-Founder of Wellvis.org
Why Is Improving Online Payment So Important for Wellvis?
Today, healthcare is one of the most important industries in the world, especially when faced with a global pandemic. In some places, especially in developing countries, healthcare is extremely difficult to obtain. Oftentimes, direct access to medical doctors and health workers is seemingly impossible. There are more people in need of health care professions, especially with overfilled hospitals, limited supplies, and overworked staff. At the same time, it’s easier than ever to seek social media platforms, such as Twitter and Reddit, for validation of symptoms or clarification on making the right health decisions.
For Wellvis, improving its reach is vital for its mission. Digital payment vouchers are an outlet to increase Wellvis’s accessibility and the number of valuable customers who need the support of health professionals. Especially in Nigeria and the African continent, providing access to healthcare is extremely crucial. This is why Wellvis's team incorporated digital payment vouchers that can be purchased through cash or a bank transfer.
Interview With Wale Adeosun, MD, Co-Founder of Wellvis
Wellvis and Vouchery partnered up to increase the accessibility of verified health practitioners in the world. We interviewed Wellvis's Co-Founder, Wale Adeosun, MD to learn more about how they are utilizing vouchers to improve their business and operations.
Q: Who are your customers and what are their goals?
A: We are very interested in growing our user base significantly, especially within the young adult and university undergraduates' demography, because they are digital natives and trust digital solutions more. Also, their needs are often quite addressable via digital channels; preventive health and sexual/reproductive health support and advice, mental health, etc. We are also keen on increasing our partnerships with payors and corporations which will enable their clients to use our platform without worrying about paying out of pocket and reimbursements.
Q: What would you like the company to achieve by the end of 2020?
A: Telemedicine adoption is growing rapidly across the globe. Nigeria and the African continent are, however, catching up slowly. For Wellvis, our goal for 2021 is and continues to be traction and scale. Reaching scale is primarily a factor of distribution - which we are still understanding and adopting in Nigeria to start with. For us, it is compounded by other factors such as; a huge trust gap, high poverty level, and reluctance to move interactions from physical to digital where appropriate.
As we all know, 2020 so far has been a very long year. Things have happened that not only affected us individually, or as a company, but affected our countries and the global society at large. It is now more evident that the global village concept is not an illusion and that digital technology will play a lead role in improving healthcare delivery, especially in preventive medicine and epidemics/pandemic management. We are set to adapt our technology and processes to be more supportive, inclusive, and robust to be the go-to tool for individuals, corporates, governments, and international development organizations. Some tools we have created include a COVID-19 symptoms test.
The Various Uses of Online Vouchers In Wellvis’s Operations
Q: Can you describe why did Wellvis need digital payment vouchers in the app?
A: Payment is still a tricky subject here, a large percentage of our prospective users still don’t trust a lot of payment gateways. They are afraid of inserting their bank card details for fear of being defrauded. Many fintech startups, local and international, have made things significantly better and improved the processes over the past few years, but there is still a lot of ground to cover.
To prevent these trust issues around payment from affecting our business, and also to improve users’ access to our services we had to find a way to adapt familiar payment pathways for our users. With Vouchery, we can generate access codes for consultation sessions on the platform, that way our users can pay directly into our bank accounts either physically over the counter at the banks or via other digital channels, from anywhere within the country. We are also able to sell these codes through retail stores and pharmacies. An unexpected benefit of this method was that we found people began gifting telemedicine sessions to others.
Q. Can you describe how you sold to pharmacies and retail stores with online vouchers? How do they use it? What is the benefit for Wellvis and the other businesses?
We partnered with pharmacies where users on the platform go to pick up their prescriptions after being directed by our doctors. This has helped the pharmacies increase footfall, and in return, they promote our platform to other customers who stop to buy over-the-counter medications to consult a licensed and verified doctor from our pool.
Q. Can you tell us more about gifting online vouchers? How do customers gift online vouchers? What type of customers is utilizing this feature? How is gifting online vouchers helping your business grow and why is it important?
Initially, we had our friends buy some vouchers to use on the platform, in order to test it. We later had a public campaign where people (of various age categories) bought vouchers in bulk and gave them out as gifts to family, friends, and members of the public as a means of helping them access healthcare services. This then activated another opportunity; user referral — organically reaching users who do not previously know about Wellvis or knew about us but never attempted to try out our product. Overall this is helping our business grow.
Q: Can you describe why Wellvis chose Vouchery as their service provider? How does Vouchery's platform support Wellvis's business?
A: We approached a few others but eventually settled for Vouchery because of the reception we got when we approached Vouchery for onboarding, we were impressed with their approach to business and relationship management and that has kept us here.
Plus, the product works seamlessly.
Through the digital payment vouchers, Vouchery helps Wellvis those of our users that may have problems with the regular payment platforms. It also creates an avenue for us to sell more of our services as people can easily pay upfront for more units of vouchers while they use them at a later time.
Here are the key takeaways from the interview with Wale Adeosun:
1. Online doctor's visit vouchers serve as a gift card
Wellvis saw a huge success with gifting online vouchers for its telemedicine services. Customer referrals are a great marketing technique that builds trust and rapport with new customers. Utilizing digital vouchers, provides new customers access to trying products that they wouldn’t originally try. Digital gift cards can push a new customer to finally try your product and fundamentally increase the long-term conversion rate.
2. Online vouchers as a great go-to-market tactic
Convincing new customers to make a purchase can be extremely difficult. Online vouchers are a marketing tactic that can increase the availability of new and current customers. In our interview, we learned that Wellvis was utilizing online vouchers as a B2B sales strategy. Wellvis utilize online vouchers to attract and educate new retailers in utilizing its services.
3. Digital payment vouchers help with capturing the customer market, where online payment is not accessible
The digital payment vouchers in for of access codes can be sent to or distributed across even the most secluded areas, giving the opportunity to buy the vouchers in the physical location, like the chemistries and local stores in Wellvis example.
Walking the extra mile to increase the accessibility of your product and business builds customer awareness and loyalty. It is how a business will grow and fundamentally build long-term trust with its customers. Today's customers highly value online services for their ease, convenience, and flexibility. Over 1.8 billion people purchase online and offering a digital coupon increases the trialability of a customer who may never have even known of your services. Wellvis utilized Vouchery's digital payment vouchers as a way to expand its reach. It was a way for their business to build customer relations and expand its operations.
Want to learn more about online vouchers and how you can incorporate them into your business? Book a demo with Vouchery today.