Orange, Airtel see m-payment take-up in Africa
Mobile operator Orange said Monday that is has reached a total of four million mobile payment customers across its operations in Africa and the Middle East.
Orange Money, the group’s mobile payment service, was first launched in Côte d’Ivoire in December 2008 and has since been made available in Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and Senegal. In the last few weeks the service has also been launched in Jordan and Mauritius. Eventually, the operator aims to launch the service in all 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the group operates.
In Madagascar, over a third of all customers have opened an Orange Money account, while in Côte d’Ivoire daily transactions now exceed one billion CFA francs per day. Users can already pay their electricity bills in Senegal or their water bills in Jordan, while users in Madagascar can sign-up to a life insurance scheme.
The three key services of the offering include: money transfers, where users can send money using their phone to any Orange Money customer in the country; financial services, including solutions facilitating savings and insurance; and payments, giving users an easier way to pay their bills and buy mobile phone credit.
In related news, India-based Bharti Airtel has collaborated with Ecobank in Chad to launch its Airtel Money service in the West African nation. The service will allow subscribers to carry out financial transactions on their mobile phones and enhance the delivery of financial services at affordable costs.
Salia Gbane, CEO of Airtel Chad, said: “This service allows customers to send money to their relatives, pay essential bills such as electricity and water, tuition fees, bookings and even buy groceries without having to carry cash. The phone essentially becomes an electronic wallet.”
Gbane said that recent studies have suggested that the total value of mobile money transfers in Africa is expected to exceed $200bn in 2015 due to the growing confidence of users in the system, coupled with a wide range of services on offer.