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Orange to take Visa functionality across Africa

France Telecom – Orange has announced that Orange Money customers across Africa and the Middle East will soon have access to Visa prepaid account features inside their Orange Money accounts.

Describing this as a significant step in bringing Visa-quality payments to consumers in developing markets, Orange says it plans to introduce Visa payment capability to Orange Money subscribers in select markets by the end of 2012.

The Orange Money mobile payment service currently 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.

"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."

By integrating Visa Mobile Prepaid accounts into Orange Money accounts, Orange is connecting existing mobile money subscribers to VisaNet, Visa's global payment network that is today utilised by 2.2 billion account holders, 30 million merchants and provides access to 1.9 million ATMs globally.

Working together on a multi-national basis, Orange and Visa will provide Orange subsidiaries and their local financial institution partners with the ability to offer all the features of Visa Mobile Prepaid accounts to their customers, including:

Visa Payment Functionality - From retail and e-commerce transactions, to access to Visa-enabled ATMs, Visa Mobile Prepaid will add new payment functionality to a customer's existing Orange Money account. Consumers may also have the option of receiving a Visa prepaid companion card.

Transaction Authorization, Clearing and Settlement Services - Visa will offer a full suite of payment processing and account management services supported by the world's largest payments network, VisaNet.   

Visa-quality Payment Security - Visa Mobile Prepaid combines Visa's advanced risk processing technology with the security and authentication features of mobile devices, offering consumers in developing countries peace of mind when making purchases. In addition, Visa's fraud monitoring capabilities can help mitigate and prevent fraud.

Visa also announced this week that it would partner with Intel to develop new mobile commerce solutions tailored for consumers in developing markets.

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