Orange Bank starts operations in France today

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Former Groupama Bank relaunches as Orange Bank with aim to achieve €400m revenue in 2018 and 2m customers in 10 years

Orange has set itself the ambition of achieving €400 million revenue in 2018 for its new Orange Bank, launched today.

The company wants to attract 2 million customers to its bank in 10 years, with a bundle of services that include current (checking) account, bank card, an authorised overdraft, a free complementary insurance package and a savings account with 1% interest.

“The offer will gradually be enriched with services such as personal loans or mortgages,” said Orange this morning.

Chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard said: “With Orange Bank, this is an important new chapter in our history: Orange is now also a bank.

The Orange offers mobile banking services in Africa, it started its move into the European banking world in Poland with Orange Finanse, launched two years ago in partnership with Poland’s mBank. Its French venture dates back just to last year when it bought a 65% stake in Groupama Bank. It planned to launch the renamed Orange Bank in July but a number of factors delayed the start.

Richard said that it would be “a 100% mobile-based bank that is dedicated to providing an incomparable user experience. A bank that combines the best innovations available on the market today into a single offer. A bank that will listen to its customers and constantly enrich its offer and its features to meet their expectations. In short, a bank with the customer at its heart. I am particularly pleased that our customers can discover and benefit from it today.”

The company said: “Orange has not simply transferred traditional banking services onto a digital platform: it has designed them from the outset for use on a mobile phone. In this way, with Orange Bank, 100% of all operations and interactions between the customer and the bank can be carried out using a mobile phone.”

But it has also trained 890 staff who work in 140 Orange stores across France to act as intermediaries in bank operations and payment services (IOBSPs). “From launch, these employees are fully mobilised to accompany customers who wish to open a bank account as they subscribe using the digital interface of the Orange Bank application.”

The service is not restricted to customers of Orange’s fixed and mobile telecoms services. New Orange Bank users get a joining fee of €80 as soon as they start using the service for payments. Existing Orange customers get an extra €40, taking their joining fee to €120. The extra bonus also applies to Orange’s low-cost mobile offer, Sosh.