BotswanaPost steps up diversification drive

Humble roots: BotswanaPost is intensifying its push into new business areas, as technology overtakes the traditional mail service
Humble roots: BotswanaPost is intensifying its push into new business areas, as technology overtakes the traditional mail service

BotswanaPost is leveraging on technology and smart partnerships to enhance its existing products and services in a drive to diversify its revenue streams.

For years, the postal utility has fought to move away from the traditional mail service, which has been overtaken by technology. The transition has, however, involved costs associated with introducing new tech products and services, while the deals with new partners have also involved new financial arrangements.

The Auditor General’s report issued this week shows that BotswanaPost recorded a comprehensive loss of P44.8 million in the year to March 2020, up from a loss of P948,354 in the previous year.

On Tuesday, BotswanaPost executives said the diversification drive would be intensified beyond the available products and services. At the moment, the utility offers advanced communications systems, advanced payment systems, multichannel access, mobile money, Poso card, kiosks across shops, internet services, bill payments, insurance and others.

Executives briefed the media on three new products being unveiled, which include the virtual post box, virtual teller machine and the online vehicle licence renewal.

BotswanaPost chief commercial officer, Clifford Lekoko said innovation is crucial in this era highlighting that the group has also been engaging smart partners to ensure that it reaps the benefits of using technology.

“On the virtual post box, customers can now register their mobile phone numbers to be used as their designated post box number to receive mail and related services from BotswanaPost. This gives customers the opportunity to re-direct mail to their current location for a fee,” he said.

The online vehicle renewal allows customers to renew their vehicle licence registration through BotswanaPost remotely via online access. The printed version can be delivered at home or office, over the counter at any postal branch as well as through the postal box.

The virtual teller machine, which is being touted as a first in Africa, is an electronic interactive kiosk through which customers can conduct a variety of transactions. Through the machine, customers will be able to access all services at any time providing a simulated version of in-person banking by combining touch screen operation and other commands.

“The machine is a branch in a box. “It gives people the choice, access and convenience and also provides an opportunity to introduce fully automated banking and agency services thereby improving post offerings,” he said.

BotswanaPost is hoping the interventions will help ease its financial situation and boost the country’s digital transformation. Government, through the Ministry of Transport and Communications, has committed itself to support BotswanaPost and had pledged to provide P78 million in the 2020-2021 financial year as a grant.

The decision came as the Auditor General noted concerns with BotswanaPost operating as a 'going concern', due to high accumulated losses and an adverse net liquidity position.

Editor's Comment
Isn’t There A Better Way?

Issues of land have always been complicated, and have presented headaches for land overseers. Hence, there have to be ways the Land Boards can address issues of land disputes that will not leave citizens homeless, stranded, humiliated or stripped of their dignity.Yes, it seems talks between the Land Board and Kootsenye Babo, the rightful owner of the land did occur. She admits that she did get compensation at some point in time. These are tough...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up