April 20, 2017 / 10:02 AM / 3 months ago

Orange bank to go online across France on July 6

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PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) - French telecoms company Orange plans to launch its online banking service nationwide on July 6, aiming to take on traditional banks with a low-cost offering that will eventually expand into loans and insurance.

Along with growth in Africa and the Middle East, France's biggest telecoms operator sees its new banking services as a key driver for growth, hoping to lure some 2 million customers over 10 years.

France's largest online banks, ING Direct and SocGen's Boursorama, currently have around 1 million clients each.

Orange said on Thursday customers would be able to use an instant, secure mobile payment service as well as a free debit card. Its online app will also make it possible for users to transfer money via a text message to another Orange account.

"The offer will gradually grow into credit and insurance," the company said in a statement.

The bank aims to break even in four to five years, Orange chief executive Stephane Richard said.

Orange Bank was formed after the acquisition of a 65 percent stake in Groupama Banque last year. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Mark Potter)

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