Pressed by Free, Orange Bank wants to help you buy a smartphone

Orange Bank wants to offer, from 2019, short-term loans aimed at helping consumers pay for their mobiles in installments. This ambition seems, at least in part, motivated by a legal conflict between Orange à Free on the question of subsidized smartphones.

Orange Bank with the free bank card

Orange Bank - the mobile bank launched by Orange - wants to attract new customers and intends to help, from 2019, consumers buy their new smartphones. This is what we learn from an interview with Paul de Leusse carried out by Le Parisien.

The deputy general manager of Orange and responsible for this banking service explains that “Orange sells 5 million mobile phones per year. There are probably people, whether they are Orange Bank customers or not, who need to finance these devices which can cost over $ 1000. We will therefore offer loans, very short financing, of a few months. ".

Paul de Leusse does not give more details about this ambition. Anyway, if this draft offer appeals to you, you can no doubt thank Free because the statements of the head of Orange echo a conflict between the two telecom players.

The thorny issue of subsidized smartphones

For years, Free has been pointing the finger at a widespread practice among its competitors: subsidized smartphones. As a reminder, these are phones bought at a reduced price from operators in exchange for a subscription that commits the user over several months. In other words, it is as if the customer paid his mobile in several installments.

In the eyes of Free, it is a disguised consumer credit and, in fact, illegal as long as the rules supposed to apply to said consumer credits are not respected. The troublemaker thus won his case against SFR a few months ago and in order not to stop there, he then attacked Orange.

This new desire of Orange Bank can therefore be seen as a way for Orange to continue to offer subsidized smartphones while respecting the conditions of consumer credit since, this time, the offer will be framed by a banking service.

First assessment

Paul de Leusse also affirms that Orange Bank opened 200 accounts in one year, including more than 000 in the month of October alone. Among them, 20 to 000% are active customers who use the service "very frequently". In 30, the manager would also like to offer a Premium card allowing free payments and withdrawals abroad. It also aims to improve Djingo, Orange's personal assistant, to give customers better control over their accounts.

Finally, with regard to mortgage loans, the deputy managing director believes that Orange Bank will offer this in 2020, along with savings services such as life insurance.

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