How Orange Mali is tapping into the women segment through tailored mobile savings and insurance products

GSMA Connected Women awarded Orange Mali an Innovation Fund grant to launch a mobile savings and insurance products for Malian women. Today, we release the case study outlining the journey to products development and offering concrete and actionable recommendations for operators that wish to launch similar products in their markets. The full case study can be downloaded here.

In relatively mature mobile money markets, introducing new products could be a valuable way to build customer loyalty while also bringing new customers on board. In Mali, Orange noticed a tendency among its customers to use their Orange Money accounts as cash storage. This, coupled with an inherent lack of insurance products and high fertility and maternal mortality rates, inspired Orange to launch two new, intertwined savings and insurance products targeted at Malian women – Sini Tonon and Tin Nogoya. How did Orange manage to make the products appealing to the target segment, while making it commercially relevant?

Consumer insights and gender data analysis is key to product development and improvement
Consumer insights research and an analysis of its mobile money transactions allowed Orange Money to determine whether the market was mature enough to greet innovative mobile savings and insurance products. Mobile operators and mobile money providers have a tendency to overlook the gender composition of their customer base and, in many cases, do not collect gender data at the point of registration1. While Orange Mali collected gender data for both SIM and Orange Mali subscriptions, they did not use it until it started working with GSMA Connected Women. A simple gender data analysis revealed that women made up 27% of Orange Money subscribers, which in turn helped it to identify and benchmark the gender split for Sini Tonon, which was 18% as of May 2015. Analysing the gender data also informed Orange Money’s strategies to attract more women to the mobile money service, for example, by identifying the registration of female customers as a priority action for their proximity campaigns.

Working with the right partners will allow to get the products right and maximise reach
To develop and raise awareness about the products, Orange Mali partnered with NSIA, an experienced insurance provider, PlaNet Guarantee, an insurance mediator, and with Population Services International (PSI), an NGO specialised in health matters.
The partnerships with NSIA and PlaNet Guarantee were instrumental in developing the proposition for the intertwined savings and insurance products, and the introduction of an insurance model that allowed users to be automatically registered upon reach of a certain balance in their savings account, was a profound innovation for the 2 partners.

On the other hand, PSI helped in extending the reach of the two products. Indeed, initially Orange relied on above-the-line (ATL) marketing to raise awareness about the products, and to maximise its reach, Orange partnered with PSI to launch proximity marketing campaigns, and capitalise on PSI’s network of community health advisors to help raise awareness, increase understanding, and drive adoption of the service.

Outsourcing the product design and mediation to NSIA and PlaNet Guarantee, and the BTL marketing to PSI, allowed Orange to focus their efforts towards developing the service on its mobile channel, from registration to savings collection, claims processing, and reporting.

Marketing to the women segment is key drive awareness and uptake
Once a product is ready, marketing is key to raising awareness and communicating its benefits to the target audience. Orange Mali chose to initially raise awareness of the products through an ATL marketing campaign, producing TV ads with a female protagonist to ensure the target segment could relate to it. The fact that 49% of women first heard about the products via the TV ad proved that the choice of a female actress in the ad was successful in grabbing women’s attention. Orange also deployed a BTL campaign to extend its reach even further. Orange is in fact using its partner PSI’s network of community health advisors to educate and register new users for the products at the household level.

Commercial sustainability and social impact often go hand-in-hand
In launching these products, Orange’s purpose was twofold: achieve commercial outcomes while positively impacting the lives of its customers.

  • Launching new products that meet market’s demand can drive uptake of mobile money – 24% of users are saving and using Sini Tonon regularly, while 4% are insured by Tin Nogoya.
  • The savings product Sini Tonon is encouraging a savings behaviour – 55% of women and 48% of men did not save before using Sini Tonon.
  • The insurance product, Tin Nogoya, is appealing to customers, otherwise uninsured – Tin Nogoya is well positioned to foster first-time access to insurance, especially for women, who are less likely than men to be insured. 97% of female users have never been insured before and 98% of surveyed users want to continue saving to reach the threshold for insurance activation. Over 30% of Sini Tonon users reported using it because it allowed them to be covered by insurance under Tin Nogoya.
  • The products have helped to create a positive impression of Orange among its users, which is important for encouraging word of mouth and adoption of the service. Indeed, 95% of users said they would recommend Sini Tonon and Tin Nogoya, and word of mouth was the first way men had heard about the products and the second way women had heard about them.


To learn more about Sini Tonon and Tin Nogoya, download the full case study.


1. GSMA Connected Women and MMU, E. Minischetti and C. Scharwatt, ‘Reaching half of the market: women and mobile money’, 2014

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