After digital inclusion, the next step for Orange is financial inclusion. That’s why we’re developing innovative, reliable and secure banking and financial services adapted to local needs in each of our operating countries. Paul de Leusse, Deputy CEO for mobile financial services and Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, introduce our latest initiatives in this fast-growing sector.
Why has the Orange Group entered the mobile financial services market?
Paul de Leusse – The financial services sector is still very traditional and not known for broad-scale innovation.
However, we believe there is scope to introduce groundbreaking new solutions to people across Europe and Africa. We’re in a great position to do so as there are numerous synergies between the worlds of telecoms and banking, including mobile payment, bundled products, device financing, insurance, in-store distribution and more.
It’s also true that customers tend to stay with Orange for longer when they subscribe to a full range of offers.
Alioune Ndiaye – Orange has been promoting digital inclusion for years.
This was the incentive behind launching Orange Money in Africa over a decade ago, where a large part of the population couldn’t access the traditional banking sector.
Today, anyone can pay for everyday items, send money to their family or even receive their salary using their mobile phone. Africa has demonstrated the importance, security and quality of mobile payment.
In France and Spain, Orange Bank is one of the best-rated banking apps, according to 600,000 customers.
Can a tech company become a credible financial services provider?
A. N. – There is no doubt it can in countries where Orange is already established in Africa. Orange Money enables 50 million people who don’t have a traditional bank account to carry out instant, secure and reliable financial transactions. We offer these services at more than 200,000 points of sale across the African continent: from our Orange shops to partner service-stations and supermarkets, as well as a large number of street kiosks and small shops with complementary business activities. This expansion perfectly illustrates how digital technology is improving everyone’s daily lives. Managing such a vast distribution network requires real expertise, which we already acquired when developing our network of 900,000 mobile top-up resellers.
P. d. L. – Feedback given by customers affirms our legitimacy. In France and Spain, Orange Bank is one of the best-rated banking apps, according to 600,000 customers. In Africa, the resounding success of Orange Money, as mentioned by Alioune, speaks for itself. This credibility isn’t just decreed – it has to be earned and requires constant effort.
What are the different stages of development in the banking sector?
P. d. L. – We have some really ambitious plans: in France, we’ll be launching affinity offers for families and professionals as we move towards value-added services and extend our portfolio to include insurance, savings and loans. There’s no shortage of initiatives. Our teams are highly motivated and there is a high customer demand!
And we launched Orange Bank Africa in July 2020 to meet the needs of a large part of the population often excluded from the traditional banking sector, by allowing them to borrow or save small amounts essential for their daily lives?
A. N. – Exactly, our banking licence means we can now enrich our Orange Money offer with additional loans and savings services. Orange Bank Africa will contribute to local economies across our African countries, just as Orange Money does today.
Orange Money enables 50 million people who don’t have a traditional bank account to carry out instant, secure and reliable financial transactions.
Mobile financial services, a high-growth area
Continuing our expansion into financial services across our footprint is one of our ambitions of our Engage 2025 strategic plan. To this end, we’ll be launching Orange Bank across all of our European countries by 2025, hoping to reach 5 million customers by 2023. In the Middle East and Africa, we’re aiming to become a leader in mobile financial services through an extended range of Orange Money services and the launch of Orange Bank Africa. This 100% bank, launched in July 2020, will become a benchmark for financial inclusion in West Africa.