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Orange Cash launches pre-paid mobile app in France

13 February 2014  |  6305 views  |  4 Orange Cash

Wireless operator Orange has commercially launched a pre-paid mobile money service in Caen and Strasbourg, two of the cities with the highest use of contactless payments in France.

The Orange Cash application acts as a 'mobile purse', taking the form of a Visa prepaid card on a phone that customers can top up via any debit or credit bank card.

To make a payment, users place their mobile on a payment terminal that accepts contactless payment. A passcode chosen by the user will be required for any payment over the contactless limit.

The app also synchs with the handset's GPS, enabling retailers to share special offers and promotions with Orange Cash users in their vicinity.

To mark the service launch, Orange Cash customers who activate their account before 30 June will be credited €10, with an additional €25 credit on making €100 worth of mobile contactless payments.

Delphine Ernotte Cunci, executive director of Orange France says the service will be progressively rolled out throughout France in 2014.

Comments: (4)

Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson - Liberti Consulting - Northampton | 13 February, 2014, 15:51

I like this idea! As a habitual credit card user who only uses a debit card for cash withdrawals from an ATM, I like the idea of simply topping up a pre-paid card and then 'spending' via my phone as I would cash! Much better than multiple small payments coming out of my bank account. Shame I'm not in France or using Orange as my Telco! ;0(

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 14 February, 2014, 07:01

The challenge with these "new" payment services is that they need to be much better than the existing one they contest to catch the market. Why bother to register with the provider and download the software in the phone in order to perform the same thing you can do with a regular, existing contactless card? In order to get a lot of advertisments to your phone? On top of the onboarding issue, you need to learn to use the service. Merchants will soon discover that the "mobile phone" payers take longer time to serve than the ones with a regular card and this will cool their inetrest. If you do not want to have "a large number of small purchases logged on your current account", then connect your debit card to a new bank account to which you can transfer monies at choice in real time with your phone. You limit your loss risk to the holdings on the "card account"  should you lose the contactless/contact debit card. And you avoid the hassle of paying a monthly credit card bill for purchases you have no intention to revolve on and an upcoming non-revolver fee - when the interchange fee for credit cards plummets due to regulation asked for by the merchants. So the tools are already there without any mobile phone payments - and therefore most consumers will not bother to get onboard.They focus on the consumption - not the payment.   

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Geoffrey Barraclough
Geoffrey Barraclough - Barraclough and Co - London | 14 February, 2014, 08:21

This initiative does seem to be taking the very elegant contactless experience and making it more complicated for no obvious consumer benefit.

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Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson - Liberti Consulting - Northampton | 14 February, 2014, 09:57

Very valid points Chaps.

It'll be interesting to see if it swims or sinks!

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