Bank? What bank? Orange, Visa and the changing face of Africa’s mobile money
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
In a bid to expand its reach into Africa — in many ways the unexplored continent for financial services — US-based Visa has cut a deal with mobile giant Orange, bypassing the formal banking sector and taking advantage of a very African innovation.
As of last month, subscribers to Orange’s mobile money system, Orange Money, in Botswana have been able to link their mobile money accounts to the Visa network, opening up access to Visa’s services even to those with no bank accounts at all.
Orange’s partnership with Visa makes it possible for mobile money users who sign up for the service to withdraw money from ATMs, buy goods online, and make point-of-sale purchases wherever Visa is accepted.