While in Africa, a large number of people do not have access to basic banking services, a new 100% digital bank, a subsidiary of Orange at 75% and of the Ivorian bank-insurer NSIA at 25%, is entering the market . Its specificity? Offer clients microcredits starting at 5,000 CFA francs (7.50 euros) and as well as savings services including a passbook remunerated with a minimum deposit of 1,000 FCFA, issued “in a few seconds” from a mobile phone, promises this July 23 the general manager of OBA Jean-Louis Menann-Kouamé at the time of inaugurating the head office of the company in Abidjan. “Credit and savings are two essential factors for economic development”, and OBA will “facilitate access to as many people as possible”, said Orange CEO Stéphane Richard during a video conference.

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Increase access to financial services

It should be noted that Africa and the Middle East are one of the French group’s main growth engines. Its turnover rose by 8.8% (+ 6.2% like-for-like).

And even if the banking activity is new for Orange on the continent, it is in the wake of the development of mobile money. OBA will be based on the Orange Money mobile payment system, launched in 2008, which allows you to pay for purchases, bills and taxes with your mobile phone. Orange Money has 50 million customers in fifteen countries, mostly in West Africa. In Côte d’Ivoire alone, mobile banking can leverage the four million active Orange Money subscribers. “Banking digitization is a sine qua non for the financial inclusion of our populations” underlined Jean Kacou Diagou, President of the pan-African group NSIA.

Unlike traditional banks with branches, OBA will be present everywhere, 24 hours a day, “even in isolated areas,” said the general manager of the bank. OBA plans to set up in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso in 2021, and targets 10 million customers in five years, detailed Patrick Roussel, director of Orange mobile financial services for Africa and the Middle East. .

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