Orange readies move into financial services

Orange is poised to launch a number of financial products and services that it says will “revolutionise the way people pay on the high street”.

The mobile network operator has trademarked “Orange Cash” under categories that include credit, cash and debit cards, payment and prepayment cards, credit card facilities and banking and financial services, but the company did not confirm this would be its financial brand name.

Orange is the latest mobile operator to enter the financial service sector. It launched a co-branded contactless credit card with Barclaycard in January and its plans follow the launch of rival O2’s financial brand O2 Money.

An Orange spokesman says: “We are working with our partners to develop new technology that will revolutionise the way people pay on the high street. Consumers can expect some great products and services from us in this area.”

Analysts say Orange launching a financial services brand is not unexpected and fits with a wider trend of mobile operators moving into new sectors to reduce customer churn.

Ovum senior analyst Emeka Obiodu says mobile networks are taking steps into financial markets to see what generates loyalty.

Howard Wilcox, senior analyst at Juniper Research, says: “Mobile operators are increasingly seeking to get into financial services because average revenue per user in mobile is going down and networks want to add revenue-generating services.”

He adds that Orange is “extensively involved” in financial services in developing markets such as Africa, where few people have bank accounts but most have mobile phones.