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Mobile money agents cry foul as Orange Money Botswana cuts commissions

Orange Money Botswana is at loggerheads with its distributors over planned commission cuts and the situation has resulted in service disruption with dealers and retailers temporarily suspending Point-of-Sale (PoS) services.

The company said contract negotiations with its partners (distributors) are ongoing.

CEO of Orange Money Botswana, Seabelo Pilane, said, “We recognise and understand that customers are worried about whether this is a wider system issue. Let me confirm that Orange Money services on the whole remain operational and are not down or inaccessible. Majority of the channels outside some dealer Point of Sales remain available and we encourage customers to make use of these during this time. In addition, we are exploring additional avenues to better service our customers.”

Spokesperson for Orange Money Distributors, Sunil Jog said dealers and agents suspended PoS after having received notice of the cuts on 31 August and have attempted to engage the company, but without success.

“Subsequently to receiving this communication, we have attempted to contact Orange to engage them to consider the implication that the cuts would have,” said Jog who added that retailers and agents have supported Orange with the roll out of its mobile money, only for commissions to be cut by 60%.

Mpho Saamagwe, Head of Financial Services at FMCG leader Choppies, affirmed speculation that Orange is not making profits from the mobile money platform hence the commissions cut.

“They said they are not making money… if this model has not been making money, how has it survived for the last ten years,” said Saamagwe.

Orange Money’s active user base exceeds 30% of the country’s addressable market of persons aged 16 and above.

The Orange Money Visa Card, launched in 2013, has an active user base in excess of    230 000.

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