French telecommunications firm Orange has partnered financial services group NSIA to launch Orange Bank Africa in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
According to a statement released to the media, Orange Bank Africa will be headed by Jean-Louis Menann-Kouamé and will offer a range of services accessible via mobile phone.
Orange Bank Africa has been established to address the needs of un-banked or those with limited access to conventional banking services.
“When it launches, Orange Bank Africa via its Orange Money service will offer a range of savings and micro credit services allowing customers to borrow as little as 5,000 CFA francs instantly using their mobile phone,” reads an excerpt from the service.
Orange Chairman and CEO, Stéphane Richard, explains, “New technology is needed to strengthen financial inclusion and support economic development, as proven by mobile money over the past few years. Banking is a new area of business for Orange in Africa. It falls squarely in line with our strategy as a multi-service operator and our desire to drive the digital transformation forward in Africa. Based on our association with NSIA, also a leader on the market in Africa, we provide easy access to bank services for as many people as possible, with simple and essential services that benefit all our clients.”
Jean Kacou Diagou, CEO of NSIA, adds: “I am very pleased that the partnership between Orange and NSIA has resulted in the creation of Orange Bank Africa. For the past 25 years, NSIA Group has been developing bank and insurance solutions to address the needs of African people and make them available to as many people as possible. We know that electronic banking is vital for the financial inclusion of our customers. We are proud to have combined our expertise and human capital with that of Orange to create the fully digital Orange Bank Africa.”
The companies add that Orange Bank Africa will expand into Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso.
In May 2020 Orange announced that Burkina Faso and Morocco had been included on a list of countries in Africa where one can receive direct Orange Money remittances from France.
The two countries join Ivory Coast, Guinea, Madagascar and Mali to access the international money transfer solution offered by Orange.
Christian Bombrun, Senior Vice President Products and Services, Orange France, said at the time: “The health crisis we are going through has shown that mobile-to- mobile money transfer is a key benefit for our customers. Money transfer users in France have massively turned to Orange Money to instantly and securely send money to their loved ones in Mali, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Guinea. The opening of two new corridors, in Burkina Faso and Morocco, is an important step in Orange Money’s development strategy worldwide.”