Putting to use its mobile infrastructure in an emerging business area, Altice NV plans to launch an online banking service in Europe.
The Netherlands-based Altice, parent to U.S. cable operator Altice USA, has filed paperwork with the European Banking Commission and hopes to launch the service by 2019.
The move comes after Altice’s French rival, Orange SA, began testing its own online bank, hoping to follow the trend of upstarts competing with institutionalized banks in a business that is substituting tellers for mobile apps.
"The logic is to make the heavy telecoms infrastructure profitable," said Julien Maldonato, a partner at Deloitte in Paris, to Reuters.
For its part, Orange bought a 65% stake in Groupama Banque last year and plans to be profitable in four to five years.
Altice, on the other hand, is launching its Alticebank from scratch and needs to endure a rather complicated regulatory process.
Adept at leverage expansion through debt, Altice has already expanded beyond the telecom business and entered areas such as the online video advertising market through its $307 million acquisition of Teads in March.
In the U.S., it just raised $2.2 billion for its cable operations through IPO and is looking to buy more American telecom businesses.