Orange rules mobile money market

Koobonye Ramokopelwa BG reporter
Friday, 26 October 2018
Dr Patrick Benon Dr Patrick Benon

Orange Botswana, the country’s second best mobile telecoms business has tightened its stranglehold on the country’s mobile money market as of March 2018, fresh data from the regulator shows.

According to Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) 2018 annual report, Orange Botswana’s market share of the mobile money was 73 percent, followed by Mascom Wireless at 27 percent market share and BTC Mobile at 1 percent during the period under review.

“In the previous year, Orange’s market share was 68% followed by Mascom with 31% and lastly BTC Mobile with 1%,” said the report which was made public recently. Data gleaned from the report this Wednesday shows that for the year under discussion, 851, 719 customers have registered for mobile money market, almost four times when compared to four years ago.

The local mobile money market has become an instant hit with customers especially the rural based and those without a bank account. In less than a decade, the country’s mobile money market has increased exponentially with its value measured in millions of Pula annually. Orange Botswana, which is headed by Dr Patrick Benon, has been at the apex of the mobile money market for years now, offering customers to also pay service providers using the platform.

It has also partnered with banks such as Barclays Bank Botswana and Standard Chartered Botswana to increase the reach of the service. Orange Money Director, Kealeboga Seboalo has previously refused to disclose the revenue they accrue from the service annually, under the pretext that as a private company they are not forced to disclose their financials.

Meanwhile, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited is on the verge of re-introducing its mobile money service which was suspended some few years ago, according to Managing Director, Anthony Masunga. The listed company, used to offer mobile money service under the banner ‘Smega’.

However, the service was put on ice in 2016, a development which led to other players in the lucrative mobile money market such as, Orange Botswana and Mascom, scaling up their businesses. Last week, Masunga revealed that, they are more than ready to come back although he did not state the time frame.

“Just watch the space,” he assured, adding that, they have joined hands with an international strategic partner to ensure the service becomes a success.  “A service like this one needs a strategic partner,” he said.

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