Telecoms giant Orange and insurance provider NSIA have launched Orange Bank Africa in Côte d’Ivoire to focus on the population largely excluded from conventional banking, by offering clients simple savings and credit services via mobile phone. If not for the brands involved, this is another top-grade fintech. In Nigeria, if say Glo joins hands with AXA Mansard, an insurer, to create a new bank, Glo Axa Bank, expect our current banks to have real problems.
Glo has the demand with millions of users in its networks. In this web economy, supply is unbounded but demand is scarce. So, any firm which controls demand has an upper hand. This differs from the old industrial economy where supply was scarce, and winners were those managing the gatekeeping process to supply. Think of your old newspaper publisher; he decided on news he would run those days. Today, the supply of news is largely infinite as people can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc to share content. What matters more now is the control of demand (the users) and that has made platforms like Facebook and Google exceedingly powerful; the platforms have the demand.
This is the video on the Airbnb piece: If you want to win in the 21st century digital economy, you must control demand, not supply. In the industrial age, power went to gatekeepers of supply. Today, the empires are those that control demand. This is possible because digital supply is unbounded and unconstrained, making it largely not a factor. Digital utilities like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb which control demand become the new gatekeepers.
Our largest bank by market cap in Nigeria, GTBank, has lost more than 50% of its market cap despite hitting new profit records. GTBank has a market cap of N637.185 billion, well down from N1.3 trillion it commanded a few months ago. This paradox is from this demand-value shift. Of course GTBank is going Habari to fix it.
Orange, a major telecoms provider in Africa and the Middle East, and NSIA, a leader of bancassurance, are pleased to announce the launch of Orange Bank Africa in Abidjan and Côte d’Ivoire. Orange Bank Africa, headed by Jean-Louis Menann-Kouamé, will offer clients a range of simple savings and credit services available at all times via mobile phone.
Orange Bank Africa will address the needs of a large part of the population, often excluded from the world of conventional banking, allowing them to borrow and save small amounts that are nonetheless essential for their everyday lives. 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.
Orange’s mobile financial services strategy in Africa aims to offer solutions accessible to the broadest population regardless of their income or where they live. Orange Bank Africa intends to become a leader in ensuring financial inclusion in West Africa.
Having played an essential part in financial transactions for several years now, Orange Money and digital services became even more important and more rapidly adopted by users during the health crisis. With this in mind, Orange believes that mobile banking has an important role to play in Africa. It is the very essence of Orange’s purpose of providing everyone with the keys to a responsible digital world.