15m | Melanie Mingas
Burkina Faso and Morocco have become the latest markets to be added to the list of countries to which Orange France customers can send direct financial transfers.
The international transfer service was launched in new markets on May 8 and 20, respectively, after previous launches in Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Mali.
The Orange Money France application now facilitates transfers at any time of the day to accounts held in Burkina Faso and Morocco, by sending funds in real time, directly to the recipient’s Orange Money account.
Yves Gauthier, CEO of Orange Morocco, said: “By introducing international money transfer, we want to offer our customers an alternative to the traditional means of receiving money across borders. Now their mobile phone allows them to receive money from loved ones living in France cheaply, instantly and securely. “
The pioneering telecoms fintech solution debuted in 2013 with the launch of international mobile-to-mobile credit transfers between Mali, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.
The same year, Orange Money improved payment services in Jordan to include international money transfers and in 2014 Orange joined one of the nine operators who have collaborated with the GSMA to launch interoperable mobile money services in Africa and the Middle East.
In 2016, Orange Bank launch after telco took a 65% stake in Groupama Banque.
Financial technology is essential for financial inclusion in Africa and digital payments became crucial for those living in rural areas during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Christian Bombrun, executive vice-president of products and services for Orange France, said: “The health crisis we are going through has shown that transferring money from mobile to mobile is a key benefit for our customers. The opening of two new corridors, in Burkina Faso and Morocco, is an important step in Orange Money’s development strategy around the world. “
A 2020 report from FIMENA (Financial Inclusion in the MENA Region) found that the MENA region had the lowest level of financial inclusion in the world, with only 14% of adults having a bank account. However, fintech and microfinance solutions are progressing rapidly in improving the figure.
Ben Cheick Haidara, chairman of the board of Orange Money Burkina Faso, added: “The financial support sent by the diaspora to their families who have stayed in the country and their contribution to the economy are very important for our country.
“Having a simple, fast and reliable solution like Orange Money, so that the beneficiary receives their money instantly, meets a real need of our customers. The opening of international money transfers from France to Burkina Faso will cement the use of Orange Money in the daily lives of our people, alongside other existing services, “he said.