Currently, Orange Money allows customers to use their mobile phones to transfer funds to any mobile phone subscriber in or outside the country, buy airtime, and pay bills.
The service will allow registered Orange Money subscribers in Botswana to use their Orange Money account to make Visa enabled payments and pay invoices at stores, international online merchants and at over 300 Visa ATMs across the country. To access this range of innovative services, Orange Money subscribers will need to apply for a Orange Money prepaid Visa card, which will be instantly linked to their existing Orange Money account.
The card, secured with a PIN code, will then allow them to use funds to make point-of-sale payments at retailers and withdraw cash at ATMs. Subscribers will also benefit from a secured virtual Orange Money prepaid Visa card for their web purchases.
The Orange Money Visa card will be available to all sectors of the population, ranging from the unbanked and under-banked, blue collar workers, rural dwellers as well as the young, self-employed and students.
Botswana is the first country in the world where this new innovative program for enhanced mobile payments will be launched, following the announcement of a group-wide collaboration between Orange and Visa in 2012. Other countries in Africa and the Middle East, where Orange Money is already available, will progressively offer the Orange Money prepaid Visa card.
Visa’s Head of Digital Solutions for Emerging Markets, Hannes Van Rensburg said: “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. The program will contribute to the mobile money revolution in Africa, enabling many more people to access the benefits of the formal financial system.”
“I am proud to announce this world’s first launch that will give unbanked population access to a Visa card and to all related services thanks to their Orange Money account. By combining the convenience of Orange Money with the reach of Visa’s global payment network, we can offer new payment capability to Orange Money customers in their home country and abroad,” said Thierry Millet, Director of the strategic NFC and payment programme at Orange.
Developing countries in Africa and the Middle East are among the first target markets for Orange and Visa to deploy cross-over prepaid products and services, helping to drive economic growth and financial inclusion by migrating cash spend to electronic payments.