20 January 2013

Uganda: Orange Enters Mobile Phone Banking Market

Kampala — A new frontline has been drawn to mark a fresh battle in Uganda's telecom industry after Orange Uganda commenced their mobile money phone based banking system.

This will ensure stiff battle with giants of the market like MTN's Mobile Money and Warid Telecom's WaridPesa. Riding on the market leadership in providing the best internet service in the country the lack of mobile money service has been downplaying the France Telecom owned company.

Orange money comes into the market with a strategic partnership with Post Bank and Pride Microfinance aiming to offer mobile users in Uganda a broad, customer-focused financial service that is specifically designed to reach out to the unbanked population.

In an issued statement Orange Uganda CEO Philippe Luxcey explained that Orange money comes to Uganda with a host of experience having been up and running in several other markets across Africa.

Mr. Luxcey says it comes with a proven track record for its reliability and high-level of security

Like any other mobile phone based service Orange money users will use their handsets to transfer money, deposit, withdraw cash and pay domestic bills such as water and electricity.

However unlike other mobile money platforms, Ronald Wakabi the Orange money Marketing Executive says their service is unique in such a way that people who don't own phones can still use it on the receiving.

All they need is the send to issue them a secret code that they present to the agent and they receive cash.

Wakabi in an interview also revealed that with Orange money you can send money to other networks or withdraw it from partner banks.

He said, "Orange Uganda has added features that will mitigate the risk of sending money to the wrong people or carrying out unintended multiple transactions."

Wakabi said customers are protected with a three security measures to curb loss of a transaction, fraud and theft among which include the following. First time confirmation: when sending money for the first time, an Orange Money customer will have to dial a number to confirm the transaction.

Multiple transaction security: when several transactions are logged within an hour, the customer will receive a message requesting confirmation; failure to confirm will automatically cancel the transactions.

Specific password management: customers are required to change password to activate the Orange Money service. In addition, customers must enter a personal PIN number in order to access all Orange Money services including balance inquiry.

Fred Otunnu the head, communications at Uganda Communication commission, the telecoms industry regulators welcomed Orange money describing it as good business.

Otunnu said, "To me it's good in terms of providing options, its health; it's a result of competition. It shows that Mobile money service as a value addition service in the ICT sector is viable and its good business to the operators.

It gives the consumer an option." Uganda has close to 17million mobile subscribers of which who when covered by mobile money service will feel the gap not covered by the banking sector.

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