Orange and MTN partner for Mowali payments joint venture

By Marcus Lawrence

French telecommunications giant Orange announced on 22 November that it has partnered with MTN Group for a new payments joint venture, Mowali. The project will enable real-time interoperable payments across Africa regardless of mobile network.

Orange Money, the firm’s mobile financial services arm, and MTN Mobile Money have a combined reach of over 100mn mobile money accounts and mobile money operations.

The interoperability of the Mowali platform means that its potential userbase does not end there; this universality will enable the more than 338mn existing mobile money accounts across Africa to leverage the platform’s real-time, low-cost benefits.

In the statement, Orange said that the aim of Mowali is to expand mobile money usage by customers and merchants across African markets, as well as giving African users the assurance that payments can be sent and received anywhere regardless of operator.

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“Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities,” said Stéphane Richard, Orange Chairman and CEO, said in the company press release.

“This solution embodies Orange's ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services.”

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