Press Release

Orange launches Visa card in partnership with Equity Bank

•Visa card increases reach of Orange Money to over 1.8m ATMs and 22m merchant outlets locally and internationally in a secure and convenient way.

•Orange Money re-affirms itself as the most versatile and comprehensive mobile money service in Kenya

Nairobi, November 28, 2011 - Integrated telecommunications services provider Orange has today announced a partnership with Visa and Equity Bank to launch the first ever Debit Card directly linking bank accounts and the Orange mobile money services.

Telkom Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer Mickael Ghossein said the launch of the card was informed by the need for customers to have additional channels through which they can access their money as well as widening the range of transactions they can make, including ATM withdrawals, merchant payments and online shopping.

Ghossein said the introduction of the Orange Money Visa card was in line with the brand’s promise of providing convenience to customers, to access its unmatched and versatile services through multiple channels.

The security features of the Orange Money Visa Card include a microchip which is virtually impossible to counterfeit. The encryption prevents unauthorized access to information stored on the card, ensuring a safe transaction process by the user. In addition, the microchip feature will allow Orange Money customers to enjoy attractive loyalty benefits.

Ghossein went on to say that the card will not have restrictions on maximum or minimum deposits to be held as it is linked to the customer’s personal account, noting that “the only limit in the transaction will be the amount of money that you have in your account.” Moreover, the card has a host of inbuilt security features that help one manage their finances.

The CEO of Equity Bank, Dr. James Mwangi, said that the launch of this debit card was a welcome move, more so at a time when cybercrime was on the increase on a global scale.

“The partnership with Telkom Kenya gives those using their Orange lines yet another channel to access their bank accounts from the Orange Money VISA Card which is EMV compliant. The convergence between the two institutions will continue to open up new innovations in accessing banking services through mobile phone technology,” said Dr. Mwangi

Equity Bank was the first bank in the country to install the EMV (Europay-Mastercard-VISA) technology in the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) outlets and point of sales (POS) throughout the country. The EMV card contains a small computer chip, which not only gives them greater memory capacity, but improves security for consumers by making it nearly impossible for unscrupulous people to decode or tamper with. The chip is capable of securely storing data that uniquely identifies the card and the cardholder, putting an end to misuse through loss theft or and counterfeiting. Equity Bank is the first Bank in East Africa to comply with all PCI/DSS and EMV standards.

Ghossein said that the new channel is expected to grow the number of Orange Money subscribers; bolstered by the value proposition where customers can now use their Orange Money accounts for their local and international transactions within the Visa Network.

“The partnership with Orange and Equity comes as the need for mobile solutions on the continent become more prevalent. Linking Visa’s extensive card network with a mobile application is a logical next step in terms of Visa’s mobile strategy to extend Visa’s reach and bring more people into the formal Financial Services sector,” said Victor Ndlovu, Country Manager for East Africa.

Kenya leads the region in the use of plastic cards, with over 7.9 million cards in use while Tanzania and Uganda have 300,000 and 700,000 cards, respectively. Rwanda and Burundi have about 5,000 cards in use.

The additional channel has been launched exactly one year after the launch of the Orange Money service, that is pitted to be the most versatile mobile money service in the country; combining the attributes of both the mobile money transfer services with those of mobile banking channels.

Visa Cards are an accepted means of transacting all over the world, connecting consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. The Visa network provides global access to over 1.8 million ATMs, 22 million physical merchant outlets and a wide range of online merchants.


About Telkom Kenya

Telkom Kenya is Kenya’s original telecommunications provider and is 51% owned by France Telecom and 49% by the Government of Kenya.

With fixed network, wireless, mobile and internet services, Telkom Kenya is the only truly integrated telecommunication solutions provider in the country. Orange Mobile, Orange Fixed Plus and Orange Broadband are Telkom Kenya’s GSM, wireless and internet services provided under its commercial brand, Orange. The national and only fixed line service, Telkom Fixed, is provided under the Telkom Kenya brand.

Telkom Kenya also has a broad business portfolio offered under the brand name Orange Business Services and continues to be a major provider within the country and region for wholesale traffic i.e. carrier to carrier, enabled by its vast fibre optic infrastructure.

Telkom Kenya has shareholding in both the TEAMs and EaSSy submarine cables and has over 4,400 terrestrial fibre infrastructure that runs across Kenya. The company therefore has the largest footprint within Kenya and has further interconnected to the wider Eastern Africa region thus enabling more people to connect, create and come together to achieve more.

Telkom Kenya’s current subscriber base stands at approximately 2.5 Million customers and the company remains committed to providing innovative, accessible and refreshingly simple communications solutions to its customers.

About Orange

France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with 169,000 employees worldwide, including 102,000 employees in France, and sales of 45.5 billion euros in 2010. Present in 32 countries, the Group had a customer base of 209.6 million customers at the end of 2010, including 139.7 million customers under the Orange brand, the Group's single brand for internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the company operates. At 31 December 2010, the Group had 150.4 million mobile customers and 13.7 million broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

With its industrial project, "conquests 2015", Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group's ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development

France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more information (on the internet and on your mobile):

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks— VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About Equity Bank Group

Equity Bank commenced business on registration in 1984. It has evolved from a Building Society, a Microfinance Institution, to now the all inclusive Nairobi Stock Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange public listed Commercial Bank.

Equity Bank Group is one of the region’s leading Banks whose purpose is to transform the lives and livelihoods of the people of Africa socially and economically by availing them modern, inclusive financial services that maximize their opportunities. While the Equity brand is associated with empowerment of un- banked & the poorly banked segment of population, the Bank has evolved to become an all inclusive bank for all. With over 7 million accounts, Equity is the largest bank in the region in terms of customer base. The Bank has operations in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.

For more information or clarification, please contact

Angela Ng’ang’a – Mumo,

Head of Corporate Communications,

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