Orange Money bientot au Mali et au Sénégal
Apres des tests en Cote d’Ivoire la solution Orange Money est annoncée au Mali et au Sénégal dans les prochains. Je vous invite à lire l’interview de Marc Rennard directeur des opérations AMEA.
What are the stakes of the AMEA region for Orange Mobile?
In Africa, Middle-East and Asia, Orange operates in 18 countries and serves 30 millions customers. These markets are growing very fast, at a two digit rate over several years: between 2006 and 2007, our customer base increased by 50% and our sales by 15%. Clearly, the AMEA is a key region in the global presence of Orange: it carries about one third of our market expansion.
Orange announced last April the trial phase of a new m-payment service in Ivory Coast. What does Orange Money consist of?
Orange Money allows Orange customers to use their mobile phone for financial transactions such as withdrawal and money transfer, bills payment, purchases at affiliated point of sales, airtime credit and transfer, etc. This new service is currently in pilot phase with the view of rolling it out across the country over 2008 and 2009. The results of this trial are positive. The service will be launched very soon in three other countries: Jordan, Mali and Senegal. Next year, Orange Money will be available in all our subsidiaries. These innovative SMS based services were initiated two years ago with Airtime credit transfer between customers, a service that can represent up to 40% of the revenues today. The next step will be the international extension of these services, for airtime and for small amount money.
Is such an innovative m-payment service aimed only at emerging countries?
The technologies used are available worldwide, so it is likely the service will be successful in more developed countries, for example in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, Orange Money addresses in first place the needs of countries where few people have access to bank services. In most emerging countries, more than 90% of the population is unbanked. The mobile phones offer an available, convenient, secure, efficient way to manage its money. It is the best way to foster the adoption of bank services.
Where Orange Money has been developed? How much R&D resources has it required?
All new applications are developed in our Orange Labs. They are structured by projects, each gathering a team of 20 or more researchers, marketers and engineers. A project lasts on the average 15 months. Orange Money platform has been developed in Paris Chatillon Labs. Each step of the project is the fruit of cooperation between R&D, marketing and network/production teams. The first trial outside the Labs has been performed in Ivory Coast. Later, a skill centre for the AMEA region will be set up to improve, maintain and update the service.
How do you ensure that transactions are secure?
The highest level of security is the priority of the project. It is achieved through the innovative platform developed by the Labs and thanks to our partners, the SIM card and handset manufacturers among others. From Orange platform and network standpoint, the Orange Money system involves a set of well-tried technologies: the customer can use its GSM handset with a Orange SIM card. The network transactions are performed using the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) channel, a low cost and very reliable solution. Offering such a level of service using widespread and practical technologies is the actual innovation of Orange Labs. In addition, the service has been designed in closed relation with a partner Bank that looks after all regulatory issues. Thanks to all the work we have done with this partner Bank, the Orange Money service has recently received an official approval from the BCEAO (Central Bank of Western African countries).