Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

“From now on, Orange is also a bank”

Telco Orange will open its first bank in France from July, with all services available through an app.

Orange Bank will offer a complete suite of account services entirely through the phone, with a contactless card for retail payments. Customers can also get help at Orange’s 140 accredited stores.

The move has been coming ever since Orange bought a 65 per cent stake in Groupama Banque last year. Orange wants 2m customers in France and 400m euros in revenues by the end of 2018.

“From now on, Orange is also a bank,” said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange. “Many [traditional] banks took their existing model and moved it online, that’s yesterday’s technology.”

Orange Bank is committed to AI, with a IBM Watson-powered bot the first point of contact for customers.

The firm expects to add more products to its bank offering including insurance, loans and an API through which others can connect to the bank’s platform.

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Boku adds DCB to Windows Store customers in Turkey

Turcell customers with Windows 10 devices can now buy content direct from the phone bill.

Direct carrier billing firm Boku has teamed up with the telco to enable the easy payment method from phones, tablets, PCs, laptops, and Xbox.

Turkcell has 34m subscribers in a country where credit card penetration is just 33 per cent, and debit card penetration is 43 per cent.

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Hiya launches business index inside the dialler

Caller ID firm Hiya has unveiled Hiya Business Profiles, a service that lets people find and contact businesses from the dial screen. The feature is available first on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Conventionally, people search for businesses in a browser before opening the dialler app and making a call. With Hiya Business Profiles they can go to the dialler and search within categories such as Restaurants, Shopping, Health, Automotive, Financial, Travel, Public Services, and more.

“Phone calls remain the most effective interaction for businesses and consumers and yet calling a business is a needlessly cumbersome process,” said Mayur Kamat, VP Product at Hiya. “With Hiya Business Profiles in place, Samsung Galaxy S8 users will never have to leave the dialer to call a business.”

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Mahindra Comviva simplifies customer experience tools for MNOs

India’s Mahindra Comviva has launched its MobiLytix Centralized Communication Manager to give telcos a platform to send targeted offers to customers.

The company says most customer engagement tools currently exist in silos. This makes it hard for operators to communicate with customers in a manner that is contextual, relevant and multichannel.

MobiLytix Centralized Communication Manager puts all this intelligence in one place.

Amit Sanyal, Business Head, Consumer Value Solutions, Mahindra Comviva, said” “With legacy systems still in place, today’s operator to customer engagement lacks coherence, clarity and timeliness. Our platform gives operators a holistic view of customer engagement.”

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Mozilla releases Firefox 53

Browser firm Mozilla has just updated its flagship Firefox product, and says it’s the most stable ever.

Firefox 53 includes the first significant addition of Project Quantum, a tech which speeds up Firefox and reduces browser crashes by about 10 per cent.

The mobile version is also updated. Firefox for Android ships with a new setting for compact tabs, so it’s easier to switch tabs when you have several open.

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