Orange Money has reached the threshold of 3 million customers in the eight countries where it is now offered, thus becoming one of the most powerful electronic money services in Africa. Orange Money has tripled its customer base in the past year and continues to grow with the recent launch of services in two new countries: in Botswana in partnership with the Standard Chartered Bank, and in Cameroon in partnership with the BICEC (BPCE group).
Orange Money is an innovative, mobile phone-based payment service specially designed to meet the needs of customers in Africa and the Middle East. Such services offer a huge potential in sub-Saharan Africa in particular, where less than 10% of the population have access to a bank account but more than 60% have a mobile phone.
In countries where it is available, mobile phone customers may open an Orange Money account whether or not they have a bank account. Orange Money allows customers to carry out simple banking operations and transactions in total security. The three key services include:
money transfers, where users can send money using their phone to any Orange mobile customer in the country;
payments, giving users an easier way to pay their electricity, water, television or phones bills, as well as providing a simple way to buy mobile phone credit from any location;
financial services, including solutions facilitating savings and insurance.
Orange plans to expand the Orange Money offer in the near future to include the possibility of receiving international money transfers. Orange and Western Union, a global leader in international money transfer services, have joined forces to develop this new service, which will enable Orange Money customers to receive transfers directly on their mobile phones via Western Union’s global system. According to the World Bank, countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia (AMEA) in which the Group operates receive more than 25 million transfers every year.
“Western Union is leading the way in bringing cross-border remittances to people around the globe via their mobile phones,” said Gregg Marshall, Global Head, Mobile Services, Western Union. “We are pioneering a full range of ways for our consumers to send and receive money. This alliance with Orange – one of the world’s most successful mobile operators – will introduce cross-border remittances to an entirely new segment of customers by allowing them to receive money using just their mobile phones.”
Commenting on the development of Orange Money, Marc Rennard, Orange’s Executive Director for AMEA operations, stated that “Orange Money is a very important part of our strategy in Africa and emerging markets. Mobile payment services have the potential to bring cost-effective and secure access to banking services to people with low incomes, who often live in rural or remote areas. By providing our customers with the means to save money, pay bills, run their businesses and receive money from abroad, we are not only reinforcing customer fidelity but we are also able to play an active role in the economic and social development of the country.”
First launched in Côte d’Ivoire in December 2008, Orange Money is also available in Senegal, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and Kenya, as well as in Botswana and Cameroon. It will soon be launched in Mauritius. The Group expects success in mobile banking services to accelerate in the coming years in light of the expanding customer base and widespread use of these services on a day-to-day basis.