Orange has announced the launch of Orange Bank, a mobile-only banking service.
It will be available in France for Orange employees from mid-May and for the general public from July 6 2017.
Customers can subscribe directly from the mobile application, online or in one of Orange’s 140 certified stores. From launch customers will receive a bank account, a debit card, overdraft protection and an interest-bearing savings account. Additional services, such as credit and insurance, will gradually be offered.
From the outset the service integrates a number of digital and banking innovations including contactless mobile payments, sending money by SMS, instant bank balances, temporary freezing of the debit card and 24/7 access to a bank advisory service.
A statement from Orange says, “Orange Bank has not simply transferred conventional bank uses to an online application: From the start, they were designed for mobile phones. As a result, 100 percent of the transactions and interactions between the customer and Orange Bank can be carried out using a mobile phone.”
Customer experience, powered by AI
Orange claims that Orange Bank will “reinvent the customer relationship”.
The service includes a virtual assistant, available all the time and powered by an artificial intelligence platform. As the assistant ‘learns’, by the end of the year it will be able to perform customer-requested tasks such as making transfers or putting funds in savings, according to Orange. This virtual assistant is the first point of contact for all of the bank’s customers. As necessary, it can also put customers directly in touch with a customer relations team.
Orange’s objective is to reach €400 million ($428 million) 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.
A new chapter for Orange
The company’s statement says, “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.”