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)