By Ogova Ondego
Published February 6, 2015
French telecom company Orange and African banking group Ecobank have rolled out a service that will enable Orange Money subscribers who also have bank accounts with Ecobank to transfer money between their respective accounts.
The service, a joint strategy to enhance mobile financial services and to increase access to banking services across Francophone Africa, has already been launched in Mali and will be rolled out in several other African countries, including Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Niger, Senegal and Congo-Kinshasa during the first half of 2015.
The partnership, according to Orange, aims to facilitate money transfers for both Ecobank and Orange customers by offering them the possibility of topping up their Orange Money e-wallet from their bank account, and vice versa. Customers can use their mobile phones to securely transfer money at any time without the need to go to a distribution point or to have physical cash.
This type of partnership with banks allows customers to link a bank account with their Orange Money account, a service that facilitates exchanges between persons with bank accounts and those without. Ecobank customers can also view bank account balance and obtain mini-statements by SMS via the service.
Saying the partnership with Orange “demonstrates Ecobank’s commitment to make branchless banking a reality by activating multiple service channels in every country in which we operate,” Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank’s Group Executive in charge of Domestic Banking, adds, “Our unique pan-African footprint also enables us to be at the forefront of efforts to develop the market for cross-border mobile financial services in Africa.”
On his part, Laurent Paillassot, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Orange in charge of Customer Experience and Mobile Banking, says: “By facilitating exchanges between Ecobank and Orange Money accounts, our customers will be able to conduct financial transactions quickly and in complete security, bringing them the best of both worlds. We want to offer this service wherever it makes sense.”