I haven’t arrived at the very beginning of the conference. It was 11:40 and I just came in to listen to Mung-Ki Woo, Vice President of Payment and Contactless at Orange/France Telecom Group.
Here’s the recap of what he said:
- First he presented Orange markets and differences of Europe and Africa, pointing out that in Africa there’s no infrastructure on place and most of transactions are cash transactions.
- Then he talked about Africa. Orange first launched mobile payment service called Orange Money in Ivory Coast in 2008. This year, they plan to bring the service in Senegal and Mali.
- He also pointed out that this is one of rare cases where new service is introduced in Africa, first — not in Europe or U.S. Along with its experts from Europe (France, I guess), they also hired local talent for Orange Money launches in Africa.
- Mobile payments bring benefits to all parties involved, as it’s basically a new business. Banks, operators, users, and even the government will benefit.
- In Europe the situation is completely different. The trick is to offer contactless payment services, which BTW already works in Japan.
- Many trials have been conducted with most of them proved a success.
- However, it’s not just the operators that need to adopt to contactless payments, but a whole ecosystem comprising of banks, merchants, and other parties.
- Orange’s first focus is on something everyone will use – public transport tickets.
- Nice in France will be the first town to get contactless payments service, compliments of Orange, in spring of 2010.
And that’s about all I heard there. Next comes the panel…