Orange Launches Orange Bank Africa to Provide Financial Services in West Africa

Orange Launches Orange Bank Africa to Provide Financial Services in West Africa

Orange, a major telecoms provider in Africa and the Middle East, and NSIA, a leader of bancassurance, have partnered to launch the 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.

Orange Chairman and CEO, Stéphane Richard, explains that there is a huge gap in the African financial sector that needs to be filled and it falls in line with the company’s strategy.

“New technology is needed to strengthen financial inclusion and support economic development, as proven by mobile money over the past few years. Banking is a new area of business for Orange in Africa. It falls squarely in line with our strategy as a multi-service operator and our desire to drive the digital transformation forward in Africa. Based on our association with NSIA, also a leader on the market in Africa, we provide easy access to bank services for as many people as possible, with simple and essential services that benefit all our clients,” he said

Jean Kacou Diagou, CEO of NSIA said that they have years of experience in African financial sector that have birthed banks and insurance solutions. The combination of such human capital experience with Orange’s digital expertise has resulted in the creation of Orange Bank Africa.

“I am very pleased that the partnership between Orange and NSIA has resulted in the creation of Orange Bank Africa. For the past 25 years, NSIA Group has been developing bank and insurance solutions to address the needs of African people and make them available to as many people as possible. We know that electronic banking is vital for the financial inclusion of our customers. We are proud to have combined our expertise and human capital with that of Orange to create the fully digital Orange Bank Africa.”

Orange Bank Africa will expand into Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso.

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.

Orange had earlier in the year, announced its plan to expand telecom and banking services in Africa and the Middle East. Part of its strategy is to develop digital financial services that will serve the unbanked and underbanked.

African fintech has witnessed a tremendous growth that makes it attractive to investors, and there are few telecom operators doing business in the sector for now. Venture capital to Africa stood at $1.35 billion in 2019, according to WeeTracker.

Orange plans to extend its services to many African countries including Nigeria, which has a booming population that falls into its line of strategy, by partnering with existing financial institutions to establish digital credit services.

Part of the strategy is to offer health services which has been spurred by the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

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