French telecoms company Orange plans to launch its online banking service nationwide on July 6, aiming to take on traditional banks with a low-cost offering that will eventually expand into loans and insurance.
Along with growth in Africa and the Middle East, France’s biggest telecoms operator sees its new banking services as a key driver for growth, hoping to lure some 2 million customers over 10 years. France’s largest online banks, ING Direct and SocGen’s Boursorama, currently have around 1 million clients each.
Orange said on Thursday customers would be able to use an instant, secure mobile payment service as well as a free debit card. Its online app will also make it possible for users to transfer money via a text message to another Orange account.
“The offer will gradually grow into credit and insurance,” the company said in a statement.
The bank aims to break even in four to five years, Orange chief executive Stephane Richard said, according to Reuters.
Orange Bank: a new 100% mobile player
Orange unveils today the Orange Bank offer, a bank conceived by digital experts which focuses on its customers’ uses. The user manages his/her bank accounts and services easily and instantaneously from the Orange Bank mobile application: mobile payments, bank transfers by SMS, real-time account balance, the temporary suspension of the debit card from the app, or help from the virtual assistant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At Orange Bank, 100% of the transactions and interactions between the customer and the bank can be carried out from the customer’s mobile phone.
“The Orange Bank offer will be available in France for Orange employees from mid-May and for the general public from 6 July 2017. Customers can subscribe directly from the mobile application, online, or in one of Orange’s 140 certified stores. Innovative and specifically designed for mobile uses, the offer will provide customers from launch with a bank account, a debit card, overdraft protection and an interest-bearing savings account.”, according to the press release.
Pay by card, pay by mobile: the user decides
Orange Bank is the only bank on the market to offer all customers, for free, two completely independent payment methods. They can use the instant, secure mobile payment service , and of course all Orange Bank customers have a customisable debit card .
Instant bank balances
When Orange Bank customers make a purchase on a Saturday for example, they no longer have to wait until Tuesday to check their balance: it is updated instantaneously for greater simplicity and transparency, giving them full control of their budget.
Sending money by SMS
Paying back a friend is as easy as sending a text message: Orange Bank allows money to be transferred by SMS from its completely secure application.
Putting a temporary freeze on the debit card
If the debit card is misplaced, it’s possible to put a temporary freeze on it from the Orange Bank application, and it can just as easily be unfrozen with just one click.
Orange Bank offers services for free
The debit card will be free, there will be no account fees when its payment methods are used, and no minimum revenue will be required for customers.
Orange Bank, origins and objectives
As part of its Essentiels2020 strategic plan, Orange affirmed its ambition in mobile financial services by announcing the launch of a mobile bank in France offering substantial growth prospects. The objective is to reach 400 million euros in revenues in 2018 in the financial services field across all markets. Ultimately, Orange Bank aims to have more than 2 million customers in France.
Orange has a combination of unique and essential assets for a successful launch of Orange Bank: a strong brand embodying key values such as security and reliability, a robust distribution network, and above all the trust of 30 million customers in France. Its credibility in the financial services world has already been demonstrated by the success of Orange Money in Africa and the Middle East, and more recently by the launch of Orange Finanse in Poland.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange, commented: “With the commercial launch of Orange Bank for the general public on 6 July, we are writing an important new chapter in the Group’s history. From now on, Orange is also a bank. A bank that places customer experience at the heart of its business model. Orange Bank will build on the professional skills of its banking experts, the disruptive capability of its partnerships with start-ups and of course the traditional assets of Orange: its distribution network, its expertise in digital services as well as its financial strength. By bringing together these different sources of energy, we will be able to meet the expectations of our customers in a way that enables us to permanently adapt ourselves as their needs evolve.”