Botswana will be the first country to benefit from the new program which will allow access to funds 24 hours a day, bringing new point-of-sale, online and ATM transaction options to consumers.
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.
From August this year, registered Orange Money subscribers in Botswana will be able 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.
Safaricom’s M-Pesa already offers the same service through Safari Pre-Pay card offered in conjunction with I&M Bank.
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.
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.