Partnership Expands West Africa’s Mobile Money

A new partnership between Orange Money and Airtel Money will allow customers in the West Africa region of Burkina Faso to send and receive funds for the first time ever using their mobile devices.

In fact, this partnership marks the first of its kind for Orange customers in the region, who previously could not send or receive payments outside of the company’s network. Now, however, the mobile money option will bring a new cross-border payment system into the lives of its more than 200,000 customers.

“Following the successful launch of Orange Money International Transfer between Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, we want to develop new ways to allow our customers to send and receive money between countries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union,” Thierry Millet, Orange’s senior vice president for Mobile Financial Services and NFC, shared with IT Web Africa, via a company statement. “We are very happy to launch this service between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, which meets one of the region’s biggest needs.”

While Orange Money already had a presence in the area, the new Orange Money international transfer option provided through the partnership is what gives the customers in the region the ability to share and receive the cross-border payments via mobile phones.

Recently, Airtel extended its presence in to the African mobile money market through a new partnership with Visa. Mobile commerce investments in Africa, in particular, have been increasingly attractive to payments and commerce companies due to the fact that much of the population has mobile phones but not easy access to banks.

“We can look forward to further empowering our Airtel Money customers with access to retail, ATM and online payments using only their Airtel Mobile Phone and companion card to manage all their mobile payment needs,” Chidi Okpala, director and head of Airtel Money Africa, said earlier this month when the two inked the deal.