Orange launches West African financial compliance unit

Orange launches West African financial compliance unit.

Orange Money Mutualised Compliance Centre in Abidjan aims to end financial and banking regulation challenges.

French telecommunications firm Orange has announced the creation of a new unit to address financial and banking regulation challenges.

The Orange Money Compliance Expertise Centre (CECOM), will provide centralised mutualised risk and compliance management for Orange's mobile money activities in Senegal, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, after the company received Electronic Money Establishment (EME) licenses in the four countries last year.

Orange Money accounts for 10% of the operator's revenues in Côte d'Ivoire alone, according to the telco.

Marc Rennard, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Customer Experience and Mobile Financial Services, says "With this new milestone, mobile financial services become an integral part of Orange's DNA. The licenses received from the Central Banks together with our investment in the CECOM are testimony to our commitment to this diversification, which will benefit our customers who use Orange Money services several million times each day."

The growth of mobile money services within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and resultant regulatory challenges in 2015 led to the publication of an update of the regulatory framework related to such services by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

The Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea (BCRG) made similar changes in order to encourage telecommunications operators to obtain an EME license in order to conduct their mobile money operations within a broader framework of responsibility. Each EME is licensed by the Central Bank of its territory as an autonomous subsidiary controlled by the local telecom operator to ensure the issuance, management and distribution of electronic money for Orange Money, manage compliance policy and coordinate requests to the Central Bank for the launch of new functionalities and monitors overall activity.

Orange has set up CECOM to provide risk management for the business scope of the EMEs from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. CECOM will report to the Orange Group and provides second-level control for the Orange Money business. It serves Orange's EME subsidiaries, which provide first-level control and it will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team of experts with advanced skills in banking, telecommunications and information technology according to Orange.

Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange Group and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, says "By securing EME status, we are able to further develop the Orange Money business, which lies at the heart of our mission of being the strategic partner for the digital transformation in Africa and the Middle East, with the objective of generating more than 200 million euros by 2018. Today, the Orange Money customer base represents 5% of all customers in this market worldwide. Acceleration is already in progress, in particular with the opening of new corridors to expand our international money transfer services."