- Orange Money has transacted P4.5bn since inception
- Holds 30% of mobile money market
- P7m unclaimed in mobile money service providers
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Peggy Serame, has disclosed that figures transacted over the past decade place Orange Botswana as the dominant force in the multibillion pula mobile money industry.
Speaking in Parliament recently, Minister Serame said Orange Botswana’s mobile network subsidiary, Orange Money, has transacted P4.5 billion over the last 11 years. It is followed by Mascom Botswana’s My Zaka with P295.8 million and while Botswana Telecommunications Corporation’s Smega with P50 million since inception.
She was answering a question from the MP for Mahalapye West, David Tshere, who wanted to know the amounts transacted by each mobile money service provider since inception and what happens to funds in the event of the death of a subscriber.
P7 million unclaimed
The minister stated that when a subscriber dies, the family of the deceased is required to produce a death certificate and or seek authority from the courts or any veritable authority to attest to them as the rightful beneficiaries. Subsequent to the claim, the account of the deceased is then closed. However, Serame explained, if no one comes forward within a year of the subscriber’s death, the funds are treated as a dormant account as stipulated in the Electronic Payment Services Regulation of 2019.
She said the Electronic Payment Services Regulation calls for the transfer of dormant accounts to a commercial bank where the funds shall be held for a period not exceeding three years. If still unclaimed, the mobile money provider is then compelled to deposit the funds into the Bank of Botswana’s Abandoned Funds Account. The minister told the House that as at December 2021, the dormant accounts across mobile money providers amounted to P3.57 million, with P2.1 million for Orange Money, P1.4 million for My Zaka and P50 000 for Smega.
Orange Money’s growth
Meanwhile, Orange Botswana has recorded tremendous growth since it launched its mobile money service, Orange Money, 2011. This was confirmed by the CEO of Orange Money, Seabelo Pilane, in July 2021 when the company commemorated its 10 years anniversary.
Pilane said being the first mobile money service provider, Orange had to overcome a lot of scepticism until it evolved into the country’s most sought-after mobile money service provider. He added that “the Orange Money revolution” had since led to more financial inclusivity. He said after risking Orange’s reputation at the beginning by trying out a product that the market was not used to, Orange Money today holds a market share of 30 percent of the mobile money industry of persons above the age of 16.
“Orange was the first to introduce mobile money services by rolling out Orange Money in 2011,” Pilane said. “The typical question on the market was whether it had a fighting chance, considering that mobile money services traditionally have limited success in markets that have a high banked population such as Botswana. However, we were silently confident and stayed the course. Today we are proud to say Orange Money is the leading mobile financial services provider in the country since its inception 10 years ago.”
As part of its evolution, in 2013 the company introduced the Orange Money Visa Card, which was a first for Botswana. This was followed by the Bank-To-Wallet that allows transactions from banks to Orange Money subscribers and vice versa. After that came the International Money Transfer (IMT), which is available in countries like Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa. Ever innovative, in 2021 the leading mobile money transfer company added the Card-To-Wallet service and the Bill Payment Solution, which is intended to offer more financial inclusion and convenience. By the beginning of 2021, Orange Money had over 500 000 active users.