Orange-mBank Partnership Lifts M-Commerce Outlook
Telekomunikacja Polska (TP SA) and mBank are to establish a new mobile financial services company. The move reflects the incumbent operator's effort to diversify its revenue growth opportunities and will assist the newly-restructured mBank in reaching more customers in the retail market. BMI believes the new unit will be well-placed to take advantage of the growing demand for branchless banking services in Poland and will be aided by mBank's participation in the development of a national mobile payments platform.
Mobile financial services are to be offered under the Orange brand, as TP SA is partly owned by the France-based multinational. TP SA will be responsible for marketing initiatives and the acquisition of customers in the consumer and small and medium-sized business sectors. mBank will provide banking services on behalf of the partnership. The joint venture will be managed by mBank, although BMI believes Orange will provide considerable support to key decision-making processes, given its success in rolling out mobile money services in other markets worldwide.
Services are expected to be launched later in 2014, although mBank has already launched a mobile banking application for smartphone and tablet users. It is targeting the 3.695mn retail banking customers it serves in Poland with the aim of quickly boosting that customer base, which has grown at a relatively sedate pace in recent quarters, from 3.409mn in Q112. With Orange serving 15.325mn mobile subscribers and millions more fixed broadband subscribers at the end of 2013, mBank clearly sees significant potential for expansion, particularly in areas of the country not yet penetrated by its branches and automated teller machines (ATMs).
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