Orange brings Money home, marks end of Free roaming deal

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Orange has brought its money transfer service back to its home market, as well signalled an end to its roaming agreement with Free Mobile.

Orange Money was first launched in 2008 in Côte d'Ivoire, with more than 18 million customers using the service across 14 countries to transfer money and pay bills.

To transfer cash, a customer credits their account with their bank card or cash. They can then dial a specific number to transfer it to another user. The service works with any mobile phone.

Following the move, Orange customers in France will be able to transfer funds to users in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and within Metropolitan France.

The operator said it was in the process of developing an app for its French customers and will also extend the transfer service to other markets in future.

It added that there are already 41 points of sale across France that offer the Orange Money service, including newsagents, grocery stores and tobacconists.

Patrick Roussel, Orange France Consumer Sales Director, said: “We are delighted to offer the Orange Money solution to our customers living in Metropolitan France and particularly to those with a link to Africa – this is a simple, secure and instant money transfer service between family and friends via mobile."

Meanwhile, roaming between Orange and Free Mobile is set to be axed after discussions between the operators. There will be a "progressive limitation" of services by Free Mobile for customers roaming onto Orange's network, before roaming is axed entirely by the end of 2020.

French regulator Arcep said in January that it wanted to bring France's roaming agreements to an end. A similar agreement, between Bouygues and SFR, is also in process of being removed gradually.