So I'm sure you've all heard the news: Orange is launching its very own mobile bank.
The service, which will officially launch in July, will see the operator move into the FS world and get a step closer to "world domination".
Orange's announcement comes as no surprise. With consumers increasingly seeking the easiest way to manage money and utility bills, a mobile bank tied to one of France's leading operator, seems like a fair alternative to the French banking status quo.
This move is of particular significance to the French public for two reasons.
First, while Brits relish in the knowledge that banking is essentially free - bar payable credit cards and unavoidable interest fees - the French are in a less ideal position.
The majority of French consumers have little choice but to pay for everything banking related - from opening an account and withdrawing cash to even owning a bank card. Some banks charge up to 100€ per year just to hold a bank account. With Orange promising a quasi-free service - with some conditions - the advantages of Orange's mobile bank are clear.
Second, the exorbitant cost of mobile phone data in France means many banks today offer special discounts and tariffs when contracts are purchased via their websites. This therefore presents a huge opportunity for Orange to not only provide an enticing alternative to traditional banks but also to existing French telcos.
But while the opportunity is huge, Orange faces a challenge. With operators often criticized for poor customer experience and low NPS (net promoter score), Orange must ensure subscribers' QoE (quality of experience) and QoS (quality of service) translates into their banking offering. This is especially important given the nature of the new division; alongside telcos, banks are also reputed for low customer satisfaction, it's therefore up to Orange to breakdown the banking stereotypes and set a new intra-industry standard for industries suffering from poor CX and CEM.
Orange have the customers, the technology and the opportunity, now it's up to them to see if they can have their baguettes and eat them, too.