Orange Money leads the pack as mobile money use grows by 10% in Botswana.

Mobile money use in Botswana has grown by 10%, according to a 2022/2023 Statistics Botswana report released last month.

Orange Mobile Money Botswana

Mobile money use in Botswana has grown by 10%, according to a 2022/2023 Statistics Botswana report released last month. This commendable growth shows that the country boasts a market that is enthusiastic about digital finance transactions and using technology to carry out its day-to-day financial transactions.

The figures from Statistics Botswana show that by early this year, mobile money service operators had 1.8 million users from 1.65 million in December. This is respectable considering that the population of the country stands at approximately 3 million, so that is a little over half the population who are now using mobile money services.

The latest Statistics Botswana indicators figures also show that growth was horizontal and vertical, with increased subscriptions and new subscribers registering for the service.

The Botswana mobile money market is enjoying deepening innovation and sophistication enabled by improved ICT reach and usage. The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has played an instrumental role in creating key regulations for mobile money operators. The competitiveness of mobile money saw increased usage which has seen BoB bring about changes such as phasing out the use of bank cheques (effective January 31, 2024).

The popularity of digital payments was noticed after Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) grew to 34 billion in 2021 from 3 billion in 2012. BoB noted that the county is fast adopting technology in money transfer and carrying out financial transactions due to its convenience and practicality. Additionally, BoB, in its 2022 quarterly report, on mobile money notes that it is committed to seeing Botswana develop effective, efficient and reliable payment systems and offer a supportive legal infrastructure, as well as a free and fair conducive environment, using guidelines from the payment services provisions.

Orange Money leads the charge…

Global network operator, Orange, leads the mobile money sector pack with its Orange Money offering, holding 53% of the market share. All the other network operators have their own mobile money services Smega for BTC and My Zaka for Mascom. However, it seems that Orange Money is a favourite among consumers. With Orange Money, users can send and receive any amount between P20 and P8,000 from a service provider at selected Orange stores and independent vendors.

Orange Money CEO Seabelo Pilane recently told Mmegi newspaper in early September 2023 that they were inspired to try new product services due to the market opportunities. “Expanding financial inclusion lies at the core of Orange Money’s mission, as ambition which signified how we work to provide real-time solutions that aim to meet key financial needs in customers’ daily lives,” he said. Pilane further noted that they want to see Orange Money contribute to the growth and advancement of Botswana’s mobile money services landscape and empower locals to have alternative options for carrying out financial services.

Through Orange Money, customers can send and receive money from anywhere in the country. Users only need to have a registered Orange SIM card and a valid national identity document. In some instances, customers can receive money with just their national identity document and don’t need to be registered on the Orange network. Those who send money must have a registered Orange SIM card and be registered for Orange Money which they can do on their cell phones, all they need to do is register their names and share their identity number. Users can also keep money in an Orange Money wallet. The product service also offers options for buying airtime, and also purchase electricity.

Orange Money recently introduced a popular service dubbed, ‘Orange Nstakolole,’ with its strategic partner Access Bank. Through the service, Orange Money users can loan any amount between P50 and P2000 from the service provider, which they are expected to repay at a minimal interest rate. What happens is that depending on your history of use and transactions (and also based on KYC records) you are allowed to withdraw the amount that you urgently need. It is credited from the amount that you deposit after a month or two. Orange recently shared that the service had loaned P1.5 million in loans by September 2023. The service was launched in November 2022.