Global giants Orange and TOTAL have teamed up to enhance the mobile phone based money transfer service in Africa and the Middle East, in a development that promises to advance mobile money into a new level.
While the partnership announced yesterday takes off with a focus on expanding physical network, phase two of the partnership promises to push further advancement of the mobile phone as a transacting tool, by allowing users to purchase products via the Orange Money account. Here stands development of a mobile phone based virtual wallet.
South African operators, mainly telecoms like MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom Mobile, may want to watch this development closely partly because its reverberation will also be felt across the fence in Botswana.
An announcement released yesterday said the Orange/TOTAL partnership gives Orange customers’ access to Orange Money services at all TOTAL service stations in African and Middle-Eastern countries where the two groups are present and Orange Money is available. The partnership impacts on a total of 13 countries that have Orange Money. The countries covered include Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Uganda.
Orange Money is Orange’s payment and money transfer service for Africa and the Middle-East. It enables Orange customers to transfer money from mobile to mobile, to pay bills and even withdraw and deposit money through a network of certified distributors.
The announcement said the partnership will extend Orange Money’s distribution network to all TOTAL service stations in the 13 countries where the service is available. Customers will benefit from the density of the TOTAL distribution network, its service stations open for extended hours seven days a week; they will be able to open an Orange Money account on site and perform withdrawals and deposits.
The announcement added that this first stage of the partnership is already operational in Senegal and Cameroon, and will go live in over 1300 service stations in the 11 other countries where both groups are present in the second half of 2013. A second stage will follow, which should enable Orange Money customers to pay for purchases made in TOTAL service stations using their mobile account.
At the signature of the partnership Marc Rennard, Executive Vice President for Orange’s Africa and Middle-East region, said, “We are proud to unveil this partnership with Total: we are creating synergies between two major groups in Africa and the Middle-East to better serve consumers. This agreement will add a whole new dimension to the Orange Money distribution network.”
“I am delighted with this partnership, which allows Total to further expand the range of products and services we offer across our entire distribution network. It’s a new example of our ability to innovate and anticipate our customers’ needs,” added Momar Nguer, Africa/Middle-East director of Total’s Marketing & Services division. “Today our ambition is to take a leading position in mobile payment distribution in Africa”.