France-based Orange Business Services and South Africa-based Genesis Analytics have signed a partnership with the goal of serving the financial services industry in Africa and the Middle East. The partnership focuses on providing strategy consultancy to prepare financial institutions to launch new digital-ecosystem banking services.
The partnership combines Genesis Analytics’ African and Middle Eastern expertise in regulatory economics, strategy and market research with Orange’s expertise in digital, cloud and network services. The two companies have already delivered digital banking strategy consultancy engagements for major banks in Africa and for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a focus on financial inclusion.
Considering the growing importance of mobile money and other digital financial services, it is extremely good policy for mobile operators to be proactive in extending and deepening their participation in these sectors. For a very large multinational telecom company such as Orange, the possibilities are virtually unlimited, with the right investment of funds, expertise and partnerships.
Having its own business-services arm is a firm base on which to build. Now Orange has wisely chosen a regional partner to work with, and the region in which this partner has relevant experience is vast indeed. Middle East–Africa (MEA) is a mixture of developed and developing economies, all of which are engaged in uptake of mobile financial services, and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular has shown itself to be a fertile field of operations for the proliferation of mobile money, due to the relative lack of more traditional financial services.
The primary joint task of Orange and Genesis will be to advise financial institutions on the strategies necessary to creating digital banking systems. This will certainly benefit Orange—in terms of consulting fees at present, as well as in the future when the company’s mobile network operations in multiple countries in the region derive revenue directly from financial services that were set up through the partnership. In addition, Orange and Genesis will help bolster the financial services industry in the MEA region in a more general way, by helping them cope with the disruption that is besetting the sector precisely due to the very rise in mobile banking that MNOs have spearheaded.