Orange to Launch Mobile Only Bank in 2017

Orange is moving to launch a mobile-first bank in 2017. People have been harping on about Digital Convergence for ages now. But this is a great example of what it actually means for the end customer. New firms, leveraging their existing technology capability, to launch new services in an adjacent market sector that is not innovating fast enough. A few years ago it would have seemed strange that the company currently offering you a phone contract would potentially replace your bank. But somehow it doesn’t seem that out of place anymore.

Orange will be launching the service in France in 2017, and then begin rolling out to other European markets. They have acquired a 65% stake in Groupama Banque to provide the service, and will focus on delivering using mobile as the channel for customer delivery. The reason for this approach is that mobile technology and smartphone penetration have grown significantly enough on a global scale to make delivery of this service possible. Also. their offering will not simply be more of the same banking services. The aim is to transform users mobiles into a fully functional virtual bank that offers a range of products including insurance, health, loan and savings initiatives.

Thierry Martel, CEO of Groupama said “Orange’s technological leadership and the ubiquity of mobile phones will enable us to move forwards, faster and further, to create a bank that factors in all the possibilities and the fluidity that is inherent in today’s technology”.

Personally I think think this is a great move. Orange has the technology background to offer a good customer centric approach to banking which will be reinforced by their mobile first approach. They can move way ahead of the traditional retail banks that are struggling to drag their legacy business into the digital age.



Grant Cleveland

Grant is Start-up investor, advisor, mentor focussing on very early stage ventures. Particularly interested in start-ups and founders who are using tech to have a positive impact on the world.


2 thoughts on “Orange to Launch Mobile Only Bank in 2017

  1. When you say they are the first, what about Fidor Bank in Germany and UK or Ally Bank in the USA, since 2001? Basically we are talking about a branchless bank. What I like about Fidor is that they offer open source coding so that all Fintech services can work with their bank.

    Will you only be able to access their bank on a mobile phone versus any other mobile device or computer? Will it only be accessible by Orange Mobile Phone Customers?

    1. Yes Fidor is looking really good. It’s great to see new smaller players in this space. From what I’ve heard about the Orange offering so far, they will be branchless and mobile-first for service delivery. In terms of how it will be made available to Orange vs non-Orange customers, I think that level of detail is still to be disclosed.

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