Orange poised for West Africa bank launch
28 June 2019
Orange Money paved the way for wider financial services in its African markets, the operator’s MEA CEO Alioune Ndiaye explained, with the company prepared to launch fully-fledged banking in several locations as soon as regulators give the nod.
The operator is currently awaiting the green light from West African Economic and Monetary Union regulators after submitting the application for a licence in 2018. Approval would allow it to provide a wide range of financial services in any of the authority’s member states. These include Senegal, Ivory Coast and Mali.
Speaking at Orange’s Middle East and Africa update event in London, Ndiaye said the licence would allow the provision of credit, savings and other microfinance products. This is in addition to standard money transfer and payment services already offered through Orange Money.
“As soon that licence is granted we will launch the fully-fledged bank in Africa,” he confirmed, adding the company ultimately plans to bring the service to its entire footprint in the region.
The provision of advanced banking products is one of its key strategies for its unit in Africa, where it also expects to continue increasing the penetration rate of its standard Orange Money service.
Ndiaye noted there was “huge potential” in the 17 markets where it offers the service, adding the company aimed to replicate uptake reported by Safaricom in Kenya, where 80 per cent of the operator’s mobile customers also use its m-Pesa mobile money platform.