Orange to launch mobile-only bank in 2017
French telecoms firm Orange is to create a new bank called Orange Bank together with French insurer Groupama, in a move the two firms say will target a new generation of consumers using mobile phone technology.
Discussions are at an early stage, but the basic plan is to launch Orange Bank as a mobile bank in 2017 in France with standard banking services and savings, loans and insurance. Other European markets such as Spain and Belgium will be added later. The service will use Orange’s network of stores as well as Groupama’s own branches and those of its subsidiary Gan. The plan’s objective is to reach 400 million euros of revenues in financial services in 2018.
“We are working on a genuine Bank 4.0: once you have tried it, it will be difficult to do things any other way!” said Thierry Martel, chief executive of Groupama. “Orange’s technological leadership and the ubiquity of mobile phones will enable us to move forwards, faster and further, to create a bank that factors in all the possibilities and the fluidity that is inherent in today’s technology. In a word, and without revealing the innovations at this stage, Orange’s know-how and expertise in robust digital systems will enable us to go beyond online banking applications that are currently available on smartphones in order to transform users’ mobiles into a virtual bank and insurance branch that is always at hand.”
As part of the deal, Orange will take a 65% stake in Groupama Banque. Orange says that the new Orange Bank will be a ‘100% mobile’ offer that reflects changing consumer behaviour and preferences.
“Orange benefits from a combination of assets that will enable it to launch a 100% mobile bank,” said Stéphane Richard, chairman and chief executive at Orange. “These include a strong brand embodying key values such as security and reliability, a solid distribution network and above all the confidence of 28 million customers in France. This legitimacy in the world of financial services has already materialised with the success of ‘Orange Money’ in the Middle East and Africa region, and more recently with the successful launch of ‘Orange Finanse’ in Poland. Our partnership with Groupama, which has recognized expertise and key assets in the areas of both banking and insurance, will enable us to accelerate the implementation of our strategic ambition to be able to offer our customers Orange Bank services in France from the beginning of 2017.”