Orange will open a 100% mobile bank
While Orange is in discussions with Bouygues Telecom with a view to a potential acquisition, the leading operator in France wishes to enter a completely different market: banking. The French group has announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Groupama with a view to acquiring 65% of its subsidiary Groupama Banque.
The ambition would be to create “Orange Banque”, a 100% mobile structure which would target Groupama Banque’s current customers and those of the operator. The offer should cover everyday banking services, as well as savings products, loans and insurance. The project should see the light of day in 2017 in France before being launched in other European countries such as Spain or Belgium.
400 million euros of turnover targeted in 2018
“Orange benefits from a combination of essential and unique assets to successfully launch an innovative 100% mobile bank: a strong brand embodying key values such as security and reliability, a solid distribution network, and above all trust 28 million customers, ”says Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange. Orange’s ambitions were already known. In March, during the presentation of its “Essentiels2020” strategic plan, the number 1 of the group had already indicated its diversification strategy, particularly in the banking sector.
It will now be faster with the acquisition of Groupama Banque, which already has the required banking licenses and a base of 533,000 customers. An activity that Stéphane Richard wants to accelerate. While Groupama Banque achieved a turnover of 154 million euros in 2014, Orange’s objective is to increase this activity to 400 million euros by 2018. To achieve this, the operator Telecom will be able to rely in particular on its large network of physical stores in France as well as those of Groupama and Gan.
Acceleration of banks on mobile
Orange and Groupama Banque also want to bet on the development of a distinctive offer from historic banks. “Orange’s technological advance and the generalization of mobile phones will make it possible to go much further and much stronger to create a bank entirely designed from uses with the fluidity that today’s technology allows”, declares Thierry Martel, CEO of Groupama.
In Europe, other players are taking a keen interest in mobile banking. The Spanish banking group BBVA recently invested more than 60 million euros in the British start-up Atom. The latter is developing a bank entirely designed for smartphones, from registration to account management.