Morocco has become the 18th country in Africa and Middle East to rollout the Orange Money solution, the company has announced.
After securing approval from the Bank Al Maghrib last summer, Orange Morocco announced the new service has now rolled out, enabling Moroccans to make mobile payments, recharge prepaid balances and transfer money using their phones. They will also be able to withdraw money from their Orange Money wallets at points of sale approved by Orange Money Maroc. Non-Orange customers can also use the service by downloading the mobile app.
Launched in 2008, Orange Group has big plans when it comes to Orange Money, its mobile money solution. The solution, which allows millions of unbanked customers to deposit, withdraw, transfer and make payments easily, simply and securely from their mobile phone, has 45 million customers across 18 countries and handled EUR2.6 billion in 2019. Orange aims not only to encourage uptake of Orange Money by extending the service and enhancing the customer experience, but also has ambitions to move into other mobile financial services in Africa and the Middle East including savings, credit and insurance.
Mobile money is critical for financial inclusion – filling the gap where banks are not present and bringing payment and money transfer solutions to millions of people worldwide. The GSMA calculated there are now 272 schemes in 90 countries, serving more than 866 million people. 152 of these schemes are in Africa and the Middle East, 84 in Asia and 28 in LATAM. In 2018, $1.3billion was spent or moved on a daily basis via these platforms, with the average customer spending $206 per month.
Orange Money is present in 18 out of the 90 countries that currently have mobile money schemes, or 20% of the global total. But there is still huge growth potential to expand its services, particularly as more Africans gain access to mobile phones (especially low-cost smartphones) and networks increase penetration across the continent.
- There is potential for growth in countries that have mobile money schemes rolled out, with penetration levels in sub-Saharan Africa at around 60%.
- There are many countries that don’t yet have such schemes that represent another growth opportunity. Some of these – such as Nigeria – have large populations.
- Growth in transactional value is also possible as more merchants sign up and more people join the scheme.
- A wider range of financial services can be offered – as with Orange’s ambitions to expand into insurance, savings and credit.
Orange already works with MTN on an initiative called Mowali (launched in 2018), which is an Africa-wide mobile money interoperability JV that enables customers to send money between the different providers’ accounts. This united the biggest providers in the English-speaking and French-speaking areas of Africa and expanded their schemes to cover over 300 million people.