Orange boosts mobile money schemes

A deal with Western Union is enabling Orange to extend an African mobile money service internationally.
The carrier is working closely with Western Union to add international money transfer services to its Orange Money facility, which has just hit three million subscribers in eight African markets. Global transfers build on the service’s current money transfer, payments and financial advice products for unbanked customers.
“Orange money is a very important part of our strategy in Africa and emerging markets,” notes Marc Rennard, executive director of Orange’s Africa, Middle East and Asia operations, adding. “Mobile payment services have the potential to bring cost-effective and secure access to banking services to people with low incomes.”
The carrier predicts its money service will be most popular in sub-Saharan Africa, where just 10% of the population have a bank account compared to 60% who own a mobile phone.

However, Orange isn’t just targeting its mobile finance products at emerging markets. In a separate announcement earlier this week, the carrier revealed it is opening a mobile banking service for customers of domestic bank BNP Paribas, offering account viewing and management, local and person-to-person mobile payments, and online customer service