Orange is the New Color of Money for Mobile Payments in Africa, Middle East

Although money is usually associated with the color green, as of Wednesday’s announcement from Visa, money’s new color is Orange, at least in the emerging markets of Africa and the Middle East.

Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, France Telecom-Orange and Visa announced that Orange Money customers will soon have access to Visa prepaid account features inside their Orange Money accounts.

The mobile payments partners call the development “a significant step in bringing Visa-quality payments to consumers in developing markets.”

Orange Money is the mobile phone-based payment service designed by Orange to meet the needs of customers in Africa and the Middle East. It 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.

“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.”

Orange plans to introduce Visa payment capability to Orange Money subscribers in select markets by the end of 2012.