Orange Money is launched in Kenya
Press Release .
Partnership with Equity Bank aimed at deepening financial access to majority of Kenyans
Nairobi, Nov. 8, 2010â€¦ As part of its business strategy of adding value to its customers, Orange has partnered with Equity Bank to offer customers a money transfer service that offers them convenience in their financial transactions and management of their bank accounts,. Pitted as the most versatile service in the market so far, Orange Money combines the features of mobile money transfer products and mobile banking.
The new product will be powered by Equity Bankâ€™s mobile money transfer platform- Easy 24-7, following the signing of a strategic partnership between the telecommunications giant and the bank, aimed at deepening financial access to the majority of Kenyans.
The service is mapped onto the customersâ€™ bank accounts, making it possible for the customers to literally run their accounts from their mobile handsets, with the accounts security aligned to that of the bank. This will facilitate interbank transfers and apply for loans using the service, for Orange Money customers.
The strategic partnership between the two organizations aimed created synergies that enabled the technological enhancements that were integrated into the Orange Money product to make it the most versatile, functional, secure and easy to use money transfer service in the market. The partners also intend to build a joint distribution network with over 20,000 agents countrywide by the end of the first year.
Orange and Equity Bank also announced the launch of the 1st co-branded debit card linked to a money transfer service â€œthe Orange Money Debit Cardâ€. This feature will allow customers more flexibility in choices of how they can access their money 24 hours a day 7 days a week anywhere in Kenya through the wide banking and ATM network of Equity Bank. Orange Money is expected to become the single enabler for all utility payments and for purchase of goods and services across the country.
Orange Money will allow customers to send money to any mobile network; the convenience and reliability of the phonebook look up when transferring money and allow multiple transactions per day with an initial limit of Shs. 100,000. Additionally, customers will also use the service to pay their utility bills.
Speaking at the launch event, Orange CEO Mickael Ghossein said the introduction of Orange Money to Kenya demonstrates the benefits of a deep convergence between a telecommunications organization and a bank, by leveraging on recent advancements in the Information and Communications Technology.
He said the introduction of this innovative product in Kenya was informed by lessons from other countries where Orange Money has been introduced, as well as intensive research on the needs and preferences of Kenyans.
In addition to introducing a product that will be used for mobile money transfer and mobile banking, Orange said it have paid particular attention to introducing a user-friendly interface, reliable and convenient service- at an affordable cost.
Ghossein said the service is suited for organizations and individuals alike, saying it could be an alternative to make it easier for employers to pay salaries. He said in the coming months they will also scale the service up by adding to its functionality.
Through a strategic partnership with Orange at the Group Level, Equity Bank CEO Dr. James Mwangi says Orange Money will soon be introduced into the Ugandan market, where both France Telecom and the bank have a foothold in line with the Groupâ€™s strategy to launch the Orange Money service in several markets within Africa.
He said, â€œCorroboration with like- minded partners brings on board value added solutions, and Equity Bank will continue to seek partnerships that will not only focus on innovation, but will at the end of the day make a difference to the living standards of the majority of Kenyans. Â This is in line with the bankâ€™s vision of championing the social economic prosperity of the people of Africa.â€
Dr. Mwangi said Equity Bank had been at the forefront of Â coming up with mobile money transfer solutions in Kenya Â as part of the groupâ€™s bigger vision of bringing banking services closer to a majority of Kenyans through financial inclusivity.
While endorsing the new service, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta praised the two organisations for combining their collective strengths to meet the market needs with a versatile product that is easy to use and comes at an affordable rate.
Uhuru who was the Chief Guest at the launch ceremony said, â€œThe advent of mobile money transfer solutions in the market has seen an increase in the number of people who can access financial services, leading to inclusivity. Orange Money is therefore a welcome innovation, as it will give Orange and Equity Bank customers more convenience as they run their bank accounts from their handsetsâ€.
He challenged regulatory institutions to intensify their surveillance on banks and telecommunications organizations to ensure that customers do not lose their money.
Orange Money has been introduced in five African countries; Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, Niger and Madagascar- and plans to introduce it in other countries are already at an advanced stage.
Orange is the only integrated telecommunications solutions provider operating in Kenya. It offers mobile telephony services under the GSM and CDMA platforms, fixed line telephone services and internet services. Orange also owns shares in the TEAMS and EASSy cables, in addition to running the National Optic Fibre Backbone Initiative (NOFBI) and its own terrestrial fibre optic network- supporting it’s data carrier-to-carrier business.
The company currently covers the entire country on both the voice and data channels, with comprehensive plans in place to meet the Universal Service Provisionâ€™s requirements set out by the regulator.
Orange is part of the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) cable that is set to go live soon.
About Equity Bank
Equity Bank is the leading Microfinance Bank in Africa, listed at the Nairobi and Uganda Stock Exchanges. It is the largest bank in the region in terms of customer base with over 5 million bank accounts which is 54% of all bank accounts in Kenya and has presence in Uganda & Southern Sudan.
The vision of Equity Bank Ltd is to champion the social economic prosperity of the people of Africa and to transform the lives and livelihoods of our people socially and economically by availing them modern, inclusive financial services. Â .
The Bank runs on a Global Robust State of the Art Information Technology Computer System supported by Infosys, HP, Oracle and Microsoft. The multi-currency, multi-company, multi- country system has a capacity of 35 million accounts and a processing speed of 300,000 transactions per minute. Â This system is integrated with WAY 4, an online Card Management System which has multi-institution and multi-currency transaction processing capability and has the ability to handle over 60 million cards with speed performance of 180,000 transactions per minute.