Orange sees m-banking as key to diversification strategy

Saturday 16 January 2016 | 22:04 CET | News

Orange France deputy CEO Laurent Paillassot told Light Reading why the operator plans to buy 65 percent of Groupama Banque to launch Orange-branded financial services on customers’ smartphones.

The executive said, "Mobile banking is a key pillar of Orange's strategy to diversify and better connect customers to what is essential in their lives, and an area in which we believe we can be highly successful. Orange will draw on its highly recognised and valued brand, its close relationship with and knowledge of its 28 million customers in France, its powerful distribution network and its ability to offer cross-market offers to provide a truly differentiated customer experience in the digital banking market.”

Should it acquire Groupama Banque, Orange will find itself in control of a business that last year served 530,000 customers, had outstanding deposits of more than EUR 2.1 billion and outstanding loans of about EUR 2 billion.

Orange is not without experience in mobile money, as it has been offering Orange Money in Africa and the Middle East for a number of years and launched Orange Finanse in Poland. Paillassot said Orange will focus its mobile bank in France,  aimed to start at the beginning of 2017, before expanding to other European countries the following year.

He added that Orange's revenue target of EUR 400 million from financial services by 2018 seems relatively modest given the operator made EUR 39 billion in overall sales last year.

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