Orange Money APIs support the rise of e-commerce in Africa
A new Orange Money offer of a standardized Web payment service is currently being tested in Mali, with rollout to the rest of Africa scheduled for early 2016.
Bertrand Martin, VP Orange Money Services, explains this new business model and the strict regulations it must adhere to.
What are the prospects for Orange Money in Africa?
E-commerce is still relatively undeveloped in many African countries. In the absence of major centralized platforms, businesses can subscribe to the new offer of an Orange Money Web payment module which directly integrates into their website using our APIs. In each country where Orange Money operates, we have one or two integration partners to help customers develop their website and integrate Orange Money as a means of payment.
What kind of partners are you targeting?
The Orange Money approach to APIs is B2B only – merchants, whether they already possess an e-commerce website or not, are the final customers who sign up for our solution in an Orange Store in their country of business. These clients must themselves be officially registered retailers. We then put them in touch with our local integrator partner.
The limitations are due to the fact that Orange Money is a financial service, which must be approved by the relevant central bank and is subject to strict regulations on security and fraud prevention. Orange Money is part of a restricted ecosystem with limited API exposure to ensure compliance with these necessary rules.
Where is the Orange Money API currently being used?
Our e-commerce offer already exists in Cameroon, Senegal and the Ivory Coast but using a different business model. There, our approach was to design a custom online payment service to support the launch of a large customer web payment solution, as would be used by CDiscount (or Afrimarket). We recently improved on this model to design a standard offer that can be used by any merchant customer within our footprint. Integrating with Orange Partner enables us to take an industrial approach and to scale our services more efficiently.
This November, we launched our pilot program in Mali to test this new, standardized approach on the existing infrastructure, APIs and integration environment. We will start rolling out to the rest of Africa in early 2016, and hopefully give a boost to the development of e-commerce in the region.