Concern as telecoms giant ventures into full-scale banking services
By John Eche
A move by the France-originating telecoms giant, Orange to launch its own bank this Thursday is being viewed as a most significant market-disrupting move, and analysts are saying, it should not be ignored.
According to feelers gleaned from insiders, the company is aiming to win 25 percent of France’s online banking market in the next few years through ‘capitalizing on the rising use of smartphones to steal share from established lenders with inferior technology.’
In Africa, Orange is already an increasingly expanding brand where it has since opened shop in several West and Central African nations.
It’s latest move to set up a solid berth in Nigeria involved its moving to acquire 65 percent controlling stake that the Abu Dhabi-originating Etisalat Group held in Etisalat Nigeria earlier in the year.
Interestingly, the Orange move, would be building on its work in Africa as out of its projected target of 400 million euros in revenues for its financial services unit by 2018, half of this is expected to come from Africa.
As at now, Africa remains the world leader in mobile banking with about 12 percent of adults having a mobile money account compared with the global tally of two percent.
A Teuters report notes that many ‘telecoms operators have long hoped to repeat their banking success in Africa and other developing markets in advanced economies, but until now have only done so by relying on partnerships with existing banks, with little success.’
Part of the concern of the Orange move, analysts say is that, given its size and spread, several other equally more established players in other sectors may equally be encouraged to cross-over also.