Orange gets African licences for e-money

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Central banks of Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea give Orange licences to operate e-money services

Orange has received electronic money licences from the central banks of Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and has set up its compliance centre in Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire.

The Orange Money Compliance Expertise Centre (Cecom) is a mutualised compliance centre devoted to Orange Money, said the company.

Marc Rennard, deputy CEO in charge of customer experience and mobile financial services, said: “With this new milestone, mobile financial services become an integral part of Orange’s DNA. The licences received from the central banks together with our investment in the Cecom are testimony to our commitment to this diversification, which will benefit our customers who use Orange Money services several million times each day.”

Two central banks are involved. Guinea has its own, but the other three west African states, Senegal, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, share one. Orange filed electronic money licence requests to the two banks in early 2016.

Each licensed electronic money service is an autonomous subsidiary controlled by the local telecoms operator, said Orange.

Cecom will provide risk management for the business, serving the Orange Money subsidiaries in each country. It is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of experts with advanced skills in banking, telecommunications and information technology, said Orange.

Bruno Mettling, deputy CEO of the Orange group and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said that with its new licensed status, “we are able to further develop the Orange Money business, which lies at the heart of our mission of being the strategic partner for the digital transformation in Africa and the Middle East, with the objective of generating more than €200 million by 2018.”

The Orange Money customer base represents 5% of all customers in this market worldwide, said Mettling. “Acceleration is already in progress, in particular with the opening of new corridors to expand our international money transfer services.”