One of the mobile money solutions provider – Orange Money celebrated its decade long of existence this week with an announcement of a plan to partially divorce from the parent company – Orange Botswana.
The money sending and receiving solutions provider now intends to become a stand-alone business but will work in conjunction with Orange Botswana.
Orange Botswana recently gathered partners and stakeholders to celebrate Orange money’s 10 years of existence and anniversary. The mobile phone operator was the first to introduce mobile money service in 2011 dubbed Orange money. Furthermore the celebrations gave Orange Money top brass the opportunity to share their story and plans for the future for the business.
Orange Money Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Seabelo Pilane revealed that their success has been due to internal and external actors. Internal actors such as support from the Orange money board, staff and external actors such as regulatory bodies such as Bank of Botswana as well as Orange money customer base.
The market dominance has seen Orange money being popular among 30 percent of Botswana’s addressable market of person’s above the age of 16 years . Furthermore since its launch in 2013, the Orange money visa card has an active user base in excess of 230 000.
“The 10-year anniversary comes swiftly after more great news for the business and a true testament to its ambition and resolve. As Orange Money Botswana (Pty) limited became an independent and stand-alone business, a 100 percent subsidiary of Orange Botswana. This decision followed Bank of Botswana’s implementation of regulation on Electronic Payment Services under which the Orange Money service falls. The transformation is indeed yet another first in market,” Pilane said.
On the issue of the global Covid pandemic, Orange money CEO said “Covid has been a shock for Orange Money just like other services. When it hit us in March we saw a drastic decline in our active base. This was because of the lockdowns and what we looked towards was how we could close the gap and give people access to payments.”
Adapting to the challenges presented by the pandemic Pilane revealed that they engaged their distribution channels to ensure that they are able to give their customers access close to home. Orange Money also approached Bank of Botswana to lobby for an increase in the transaction threshold and it was approved.
The increase in the transaction threshold allowed Orange Money to have room for other services such as insurance premiums, prepaid electricity and so forth. It also enabled Orange Money customers to put more money in their cards and pay from home instead of travelling.
“Covid has been a good learning curve, we are seeing growth since the initial lockdown period. What we have seen and put in our strategy going forward is that we should focus on making access easier. That is why we launched the wallet to bank service and we connected to banks through bank to wallet. We will soon launch our own app,” Pilane said.
Seeing as Orange money will become its own entity, Pilane explained the relationship with Orange Botswana.
“We need to look at Orange Botswana as sort of a start-up, but we will be in connection and partnership with Orange Botswana. Orange Botswana will provide us with support services which include network, technical support, administration and other operational services. We are still in the process but definitely Orange Money Botswana will be a separate company,” Pilane said.