France Telecom’s Tunisian branch, Orange Tunisia, will launch Mobile Money by the end of the year. It comes as banks and the government hope to implement the new mobile technology to make doing business in the country easier.
The announcement came at a microfinance conference in Tunis by Orange’s Director of International Relations for Contactless Payment Systems Jean-Christophe Bernard.
He said the operator would account for the fact that less than half of Tunisa’s bank account holders are using actual bank cards, which could mean the service would be a welcome addition to the country and make the system of cardless transactions a priority.
According to the company, it first introduced a service it called Orange Money in Senegal, Mali and Madagascar last spring, then in Kenya in the summer.
“In those markets, Orange Money allows mobile customers to deposit, withdraw and transfer money, to easily buy call credit, to pay for goods at certain retail partners and to pay bills,” the company said.
Analysts are optimistic that the move could boost Orange’s profile in the country, especially after concerns over alleged corruption began to foment earlier this year following the downfall of the former regime through massive street protests.
By Jonathan Terry