Orange is to launch its mobile banking service in France on 6 July as it searches to attract two million customers.

The offering launches with a current account, a debit card, overdraft protection and a savings account.

Additional products, such as credit and insurance, will be added “gradually”, the France-based operator said.

Orange Bank features services including contactless mobile payments, “instant” balances and the ability to send money by SMS.

The telco has also developed an AI-based virtual assistant to accompany the bank, which will be “the first point of contact” for all customers.

The service is free as long as customers make at least three withdrawals or payments per month; a flat fee of €5 per month applies if this condition is not met.

Customers can subscribe directly from the mobile app, online, or in one of Orange’s 140 certified stores.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, said: “We are writing an important new chapter in the Group’s history.

“From now on, Orange is also a bank.

“A bank that places customer experience at the heart of its business model.

“Orange Bank will build on the professional skills of its banking experts, the disruptive capability of its partnerships with start-ups and of course the traditional assets of Orange: its distribution network, its expertise in digital services as well as its financial strength.

“By bringing together these different sources of energy, we will be able to meet the expectations of our customers in a way that enables us to permanently adapt ourselves as their needs evolve.”

Orange first announced plans for a mobile banking service last January.

The bank is based on the infrastructure of Groupama Banque, in which Orange has acquired a 65 percent stake.

The operator has previously said it plans to launch Orange Bank in other markets in the future.

Read more: Orange bullish on bank plans, gives itself five years head start on incumbents

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