Orange has introduced a bank-to-wallet money transfer service linked to Orange Money in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry and Niger, in collaboration with pan-African banking group Ecobank.

The service will enable money transactions for the customers of both entities by allowing them to top-up their Orange Money e-wallet from their bank account, and vice versa. It is already operational in Mali since January 2015 and in Cameroon since August 2015.

Orange, in a statement, said that customers can securely make transactions between accounts at any time using their mobile phones, eliminating the need to go to a distribution point or to have any physical cash. Customers can also view their bank account balance and obtain mini-statements by SMS.

Orange Money director of mobile payment and contactless Thierry Millet said: "This easy-to-use system meets the demands of customers who already have a bank account and who want to use their mobile phones to carry out bank operations, wherever they are in the country and at whatever time of day.

"Customers will also benefit from the extensive network of thousands of licensed Orange Money vendors in addition to Ecobank’s own high-street branches, considerably increasing the number of withdrawal points. We are happy to deploy this partnership in large scale."

Commenting on the launch, Ecobank Group group executive of consumer banking Patrick Akinwuntan said: "It is a platform which highlights the importance of on-line banking and mobile today and to our commitment in bringing convenient banking services to everyone in central Africa."