Telenor’s foray into financial services in Serbia has reached a milestone, with 50,000 current accounts opened in the first six months of operation. 

The Norway-based operator launched Telenor Banka last September, offering a range of services including mobile banking.

Uniquely in Europe, Telenor owns the banking license itself after acquiring KBC Banka; as part of the deal it had to sell the bank’s customers to a rival.

Despite the announcement, the rate of growth has slowed. It had acquired 32,000 customers by the end of December, meaning just 18,000 new accounts have opened in the first three months of this year.

Analysts told European Communications late last year that Telenor’s move was “very bold”.

Martin Navratil, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Managing Director at Telenor Banka, commented: “We are very pleased with the fact that we reached our 50,000th current account in a short time period, which puts us among the fastest growing mobile online banks in the CEE region.

“We are focused on providing easy-to-use financial services and shifting from traditional banking to innovative customer-oriented mobile solutions.”

[Read more: Telenor unveils new European roaming strategy]

Kjell-Morten Johnsen, Executive Vice-President, Head of European Operations at Telenor added: “Starting a bank in Serbia has always been more than a mere business opportunity.

“For Telenor, it has been a means to create a lasting positive impact on the way people do banking in the region. This is why we have created a unique mobile banking experience that customers can easily adopt.”​

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