Orange Group and MTN Group, Africa’s mobile operators and mobile money providers, have announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments across the continent
Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.
It aims to make it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.
The joint venture will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money, bringing together over 100mn mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets.
Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338mn mobile money accounts in Africa.
The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.
For Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange, said, "By providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa.”
“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. By joining forces with 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,” she added.
Rob Shuter, group president and CEO of MTN, commented, “This partnership with Orange is, therefore, an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright and digital future.”