French telecom giant Orange has acquired homegrown digital banking service provider Anytime for an undisclosed sum, in a bid to tap into the independent professionals and small business market.
Anytime – which currently has a customer base of 100,000 – will part of the telecom company’s three-year-old Orange Bank division which will open it up to supporting the Orange client footprint and is fully aligned with the core multiservice strategy of the Group.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Orange Bank, Anytime will also benefit from the strength of the Orange brand among SMEs and SOHOs that will enable it to scale-up its commercial reach and enhance its range of solutions for professionals.
“Anytime’s entry into the Orange Bank family marks a new development opportunity for us in a high-value market segment while establishing strong synergies with Orange Bank and Orange,” Paul de Leusse, CEO of Orange Bank said in a joint statement.
Banking has become an appealing industry for telcos to dip their toes into, which is why this type of acquisition isn’t new for Orange, especially since it established its banking wing back in 2017 by acquiring Groupama Bank in 2016.
Since then, Orange Bank has enjoyed a clientele of 1.1 million that are mainly situated in France, but also in Spain, and more recently, the Ivory Coast.
According to the company’s Engage Europe 2025 strategy announced last year, it highlighted the need to put their weight behind FinTech and banking services in attempts to expand within continental Europe by 2025 and growing their customers to 5 million.
Orange Bank is now aiming to make financial management easier for SMEs and SOHOs. Anytime is one of the top three neobanks in this market in France and has been profitable since 2018.
It has grown by offering business accounts, payment solutions and expense management tools that make life easier for small businesses. Solutions that are already available on the Anytime platform include creating quotes and invoices, automatic account updates, enabling customer payments via a mobile or credit card, managing unpaid invoices and optimising cash flow.
With the support of experts from Orange, these solutions will be further developed in the future to build a comprehensive solutions platform that will help business customers manage their finances more efficiently.
Orange already serves several million professional and business customers in France who could also potentially be interested in Anytime’s offers: start-up entrepreneurs, freelancers, the self-employed and small businesses.
“We’re happy and proud to join the Orange group. This latest development recognizes the strength of the Anytime business model, the first business-focused neobank to be profitable since 2018. This merger with Orange Bank will enable us to offer a greater range of business services (loans, insurance, payments, expert advice etc) and benefit from the powerful Orange brand,” Damien Dupouy and Thierry Peyre, co-founders of Anytime said in a statement.
Under the leadership of Dupouy and Peyre, along with its current management team, Anytime will continue its market growth with increased resources.
Anytime offers will initially remain available online via an account set up through the Anytime app or website. These will be gradually extended to other Orange channels including its network of stores and its business salesforce.
Starting in France, services will also be rolled out across Orange Bank’s other European countries.