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Orange to Offer Visa Mobile Prepaid Accounts to Orange Money Customers in Africa and the Middle East

 Orange Money customers will have access to a Visa prepaid account
 The service enables Orange, in partnership with financial institutions, to offer Visa prepaid account services on mobile phones to unbanked and under-banked consumers

France Telecom-Orange (NYSE:FTE) and Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced that Orange Money customers will soon have access to Visa prepaid account features inside their Orange Money accounts – a significant step in bringing Visa-quality payments to consumers in developing markets.

Orange Money is the mobile phone-based payment service designed by Orange to meet the needs of customers in Africa and the Middle East. It offers Orange subscribers applications such as person to person transfers, bill payments, and agent-based cash-in and cash-out services for loading or withdrawing funds. Launched in cooperation with local bank partners, the service was first introduced in 2008 and is presently available in eight countries across Africa and the Middle East. Orange plans to introduce Visa payment capability to Orange Money subscribers in select markets by the end of 2012.

“We already provide secure and convenient payment capability to 3.5 million unbanked or financially under- served African citizens” said Jean – Paul Cottet, Orange’s Executive Director for Marketing and Innovation.

“By combining the convenience of Orange Money with the reach of Visa’s global payment network, we can offer new payment capability to Orange Money customers in their home country and abroad”.

Visa Mobile Prepaid, a new Visa product introduced in October 2011, enhances the security, scale and interoperability of mobile money programs, such as Orange Money, by enabling account holders to make person-to-person payments, retail and e-commerce purchases at merchants where Visa is accepted, or withdraw funds at Visa ATMs.

“Mobile technology has become one of the most important enablers of financial inclusion and its ubiquity is allowing mobile network operators, financial institutions, and Visa to connect financially under-served consumers to each other and the global economy” said John Partridge, President, Visa Inc.

The convergence of mobile and financial services networks helps to remove service barriers, accelerates the pace of change and is transforming the lives of consumers in developing countries.

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