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Prepaid electricity payment channels unveiled in Botswana

botswanapost

Consumers in Botswana can now purchase prepaid electricity through virtual channels provided for by Botswana Post and First National Bank (FNB) Botswana.

The development comes six months after Botswana Post was nominated a super vendor by Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for prepaid electricity.

The two channels include a card based method to provide pre-paid electricity to all VISA and MasterCard credit and debit card holders -- irrespective of issuing bank -- and a cellphone banking channel for FNB card holders.

Commenting on the development Yolisa Philips-Lejowa, director for public sector segment and e-solution business at FNB Botswana said the two channels bring convenience to consumers and close the gap, providing easy access to prepaid electricity.

“Any customer can now securely and conveniently purchase prepaid electricity through the card based method,” said Philips-Lejowa.

She said the new channels provide efficient ways of purchasing prepaid power rather than conventional methods, allaying fears of fraud on the channels.

“There are measures in place to ensure that we reduce fraud, as much as possible.”

Philips-Lejowa said 100 transactions were successfully made during a two weeks trial-run of the project.

Cornelius Ramatlhakwane, Botswana Post’s head of business development, said the two partners are working on providing more options for prepaid electricity purchasing, which include offering the service through automated teller machines (ATMs), online banking and getting mobile network providers on board as well.

“For us Botswana Post, new technologies do not pose a threat to our business; instead we see them as a stepping stone to execute our strategic objectives.”

Ramatlhakwane further said the post office is evolving into a service provider of choice through leveraging on technology.

“Our customers can now enjoy the luxury and convenience of buying prepaid electricity from the comfort of wherever they are, any time of the day 24/7,” said Ramatlhakwane.

Botswana Post recently embarked on ‘Icon of Excellence Strategy’ that has seen the parastatal invest in its information technology (IT) infrastructure and counter automation, which included a new data centre and computerisation of its 125 outlets across Botswana.

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