Orange sets out Botswana mobile payments deal with Visa
French telco Orange is planning to launch a set of mobile payment services in Botswana and other countries in Africa and the Middle East, which it says will easy access to funds around the clock and bring new point of sale, online and ATM transaction options to customers.
From August, Botswanans will be able to apply for an Orange Money prepaid Visa card, which will be linked to their existing account. The card, secured with a PIN code, will allow them to use funds to make payments online as well as point of sale payments to some 4,000 retailers and withdraw cash at 300 Visa ATMs across the country.
The new services follow on from the existing ability to use Orange mobile phones to transfer funds to any mobile subscriber, buy airtime and pay bills. Orange has said that the new service should also make it easier for unbanked customers to move funds, make purchases and pay bills.
“This is a significant milestone in Visa’s strategy to drive financial inclusion and we are excited to be launching this service with Orange in Botswana,” said Hannes Van Rensburg, head of digital solutions for emerging markets at Visa. “The program will contribute to the mobile money revolution in Africa, enabling many more people to access the benefits of the formal financial system.”
Orange currently estimates that it has one million customers in Botswana. Meanwhile, mobile payments have emerged as a significant tool in other parts of Africa and other developing regions in recent years. In Kenya, M-Pesa has an estimated 18 million users, while earlier this month Western Union announced a new mobile money service in Nigeria.