France Telecom-Orange

Headquarters: 
France

France Telecom-Orange devotes considerable resources to NFC and mobile payment at its French and UK offices and R&D centers.

France’s largest telco, Orange is also poised to become the largest mobile operator in the UK. Orange had planned to show the world the way to NFC rollouts with a planned commercial launch originally targeted for Q1 2008 in the southwestern French city of Bordeaux.

But Orange had to pull the plug on the highly touted project when, among other problems, its transit partner, Veolia Transport, lost its contract to serve the city. A tad chastened by the setback, Orange is unlikely to move boldly alone again in France.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Orange, the No. 3 mobile operator, plans to merge with No. 4 T-Mobile. Provided regulators approve the deal, it would create the country’s largest mobile telco–with more than 28 million subscribers and a combined share of more than 35% in the UK’s hypercompetitive market.

In March 2009, Orange UK joined Britain’s premier credit card issuer, Barclaycard, to announce plans to develop NFC payment and other services. The partnership could spawn a commercial launch as early as 2010. The pair in January 2010 launched a contactless credit card that offers users mobile transaction alerts.

Orange continues to play a key role in shaping NFC policy in France and beyond and was instrumental, along with other French telcos, in pushing the SIM as the preferred place to store secure applications in NFC phones. The GSM Association, the influential global mobile operator trade group, later adopted that SIM-centric model for NFC and has been pushing it on banks and other service providers.

The company is setting up its Orange Business Services wing as a trusted service manager to administer NFC applications on phones and other devices–although its flagship operator, Orange France, may decide to go outside the company for TSM services.

Orange also has major operations in Spain, Poland and other European countries, as well as the Middle East and Africa. It has experimented with a network-based mobile-payment service, Orange Money, in Africa.

Key figures: 
Customer Base – France 2009
2008
Change*
Subscribers 25.4 24.5 3.4%

Mobile, in millions, for Sept. of year indicated *For unrounded figures

Financial Results – France 1H 2009 1H 2008 Change
Revenue 5,373 5,049 6.4%
EBITA 558 561 -0.5%
Mobile operations, in millions of euros
Customer Base – UK 2009
2008
Change*
Subscribers 16.1 15.8 1.9%
Mobile, in millions, for Sept. of year indicated  *For unrounded figures
Financial Results – UK 1H 2009 1H 2008 Change
Revenue 2,451 2,499 1.9%
EBITA 558 561 -0.5%
Mobile operations, in millions of euros
Key NFC Personnel: 
Thierry Millet, VP, mobile payments and contactless services, group
Vincent Barnaud, head of marketing and innovation for electronic payments and transactions, group
Major NFC and Contactless competitors: 

France: SFR, Bouygues Telecom, UK: Telefónica O2, Vodafone

Last Updated: 
Jan 2012
Author: 
Balaban

HEADLINE NEWS

Apple Launches P2P Payments Featuring Own Digital Payment Card; Should Banks Worry?

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – A key part of Apple’s new Apple Pay Cash peer-to-peer payments service is its digital prepaid debit card–which can be used for in-store NFC purchases and other transactions–a first for the tech giant.

Target Shuns NFC and Apple Pay as Expected with New Wallet; Service Features Private-Label Card

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Target has added its long-anticipated 2-D bar code-based wallet to its mobile app, following rival Wal-Mart Stores in launching its own payments service and shunning NFC and contactless, as expected.

Belgian Domestic Debit Network Seeks to Expand Use of Mobile Payments, Though Consumer Habits Hard to Break

Dec 1 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Belgium’s domestic debit network Bancontact is offering both QR code and NFC-based mobile payments services with 20 banks in the country, as backers seek to expand use by consumers of mobile and contactless payments, which each make up only around 1% of total Bancontact transactions.

Korean and Taiwanese Banks Test Loyalty Points Exchange Using Blockchain

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – KEB Hana Bank of South Korea and Taishin International Bank of Taiwan have demonstrated the transfer of bonus points and purchase of coupons using Blockchain technology, with KEB Hana Bank planning to launch initial service for visitors to the Winter Olympics next February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Norwegian Banks Move to Defend Against Global Tech Giants by Uniting Payments Services

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight –  The “Pays” wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have not yet launched in Norway, but Norwegian banks are not waiting for tech giants Apple and Google or other outside behemoths, such as Facebook, to try to gain a foothold.

Shared and Limited-Use Tokens and Other Changes: Tokenization 2.0 Explained

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The second version of EMVCo’s payment tokenization technical framework adds two new token use cases aimed primarily for e-commerce and in-app payments, along with a few new assurance and authentication features, but much of the focus of the version 2.0 has been on restructuring and clarifying issues from the first version of the tokenization framework released more than three years ago, according to EMVCo in a webinar.

First Data Expected to Begin Tokenizing Mastercard-Branded Cards Next Year; Visa More Restrictive

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Big U.S. acquirer and processor First Data plans to generate its own tokens for Mastercard-branded card accounts next year, NFC Times has learned, and a source says First Data is also in discussions with Visa to do the same, but Visa may not allow the processor to tokenize Visa-branded cards in place of the network’s own Visa Token Service.

Visa Launches Program to Promote Contactless Transit Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa has formed a unit to promote use of Visa-branded contactless cards and accounts on NFC phones and other devices, seeing an opportunity to expand on the success of open-loop fare collection in London and plans for the move by transit authorities in a growing number of cities, including New York, to accept contactless credit, debit and prepaid bank cards for fares.

USA Technologies Seeks to Bolster Services, Markets with Acquisition of Cantaloupe Systems

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Unattended point-of-sale vendor USA Technologies expects to close its $85 million deal to acquire competitor Cantaloupe Systems next week, telling NFC Times the deal will add to USAT’s suite of services and expand its international reach.

Orange Cash Gets New Life as Part of Orange Bank App

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – As expected, Orange will continue offering its NFC-enabled Orange Cash Visa-branded card with the launch of its Orange Bank mobile service.

First HCE-Enabled JCB Cards to Hit Market in Taiwan in First Quarter

Nov 14 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Japanese credit card company JCB will participate early next year in a mobile wallet from the Taiwan Mobile Payment banking joint venture, marking the first time JCB will support host card emulation in a mobile payments service.

Canadians Take to Contactless Cards, but NFC Wallets? Not So Much

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While a well-developed contactless card and POS terminal infrastructure and strong consumer take-up of contactless card payments has often been touted as the gateway to use of mobile payments, that is often not the case. Take Canada, for instance.