Orange, Wirecard extend Orange Cash to French teenagers

Wirecard HQ building

Orange is expanding its Orange Cash mobile payment service to French teenagers in an extension of a broader push into the financial services sector.

The France-headquartered operator is launching Orange Cash Jeune in conjunction with Germany-based payment company Wirecard, which already provides the underlying technology for the operator’s existing contactless mobile payment service.

Wirecard announced that the mobile payment service is being opened up to teenagers aged up to 18 and said that parental controls are in place. Indeed, parents and guardians must first set up an account for their teenage offspring, who can then access the mobile payment services via a smartphone app.

The German payment company expects the service to prove popular among teens, who it argues are increasingly shopping online via smartphones but are stymied in terms of paying for goods by not having bank accounts or their own payment cards.

“Rather than using their parents’ credit card, teens would like to use their smartphones and other devices to shop online. By adding the Orange Cash Jeune feature to the app we have succeeded in addressing a younger target group in the field of mobile payments,” Susanne Steidl, executive vice president of issuing services at Wirecard, explained.

Parents and guardians can control the amount of cash available to teenage users using a web interface, which also offers an overview of expenditure. Wirecard said it developed the smartphone app for Orange and processes the technical and financial elements of the service, including the web interface, and the issue and payment processing of a digital prepaid card.

Orange Cash is currently available in France and Spain, Wirecard stated. The mobile payment service forms part of a broader push into the financial services market that will also see Orange establish a new banking service named Orange Bank in January 2017 as part of its Essentials2020 strategy.

The operator moved ahead with its plan to launch Orange Bank after gaining regulatory clearance to acquire a 65 per cent stake in Groupama Banque earlier this month.

At the time, Jean-Bernard Mateu, Europe and France mobile financials services director at Orange, said the banking service will sit alongside Orange Cash and its MEA-focused Orange Money service.