French neobank Anytime snapped up by Orange Bank
French neobank Anytime has been acquired by Orange Bank, extending the telco’s banking division into the SME and freelance professionals market.
The merger will provide Orange Bank, launched in France three years ago as a consumer bank, with greater access to the nation's small business market, a flourishing sector of more than three million enterprises, according to European Commission figures.
Profitable since 2018, Anytime offers SMEs mobile banking solutions to simplify financial management. Services include invoicing and management of pending invoices, automatic account updates and various cash flow optimisation tools. It will continue to offer these services while operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary under its current management, including co-founders Damien Dupouy and Thierry Peyre, who say the merger “will enable us to offer a greater range of business services”.
These include a suite of new financial and digital management tools tailored to small businesses, alongside loans and insurance, financial advice and further halo effects of the wider Orange brand.
European roll out
In the short term, Anytime will continue to offer services through its own app and website, though accounts and services will gradually be weaved into Orange’s other channels, including its network of bricks and mortar stores. Beginning in Anytime’s domestic French market, Orange says it will target SMEs and freelancers in other European countries in the future, rolling out services across the continent.
“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,” says Paul de Leusse, CEO of Orange Bank
Pictured (L-R): Paul de Leusse, Stéphane Richard and Damien Dupouy
Upgrade launch new credit card with bitcoin rewards
Upgrade, a fintech company focused on providing credit for mainstream consumers, has launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card a new version of its Upgrade Card featuring bitcoin rewards. Under the new programme, users earn unlimited 1.5% bitcoin rewards on every purchase as they make payments.
The custody and trading platform for holding and selling bitcoin is provided by NYDIG and the card is a Visa Signature card, which includes benefits such as trip and baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.
The company offers credit lines from $500 to $25,000 with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card depending on your credit score. It works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Like other Upgrade credit cards, there are no monthly fees, late fees, or returned payment fees.
"Upgrade Card is already delivering over $3 billion in annualised credit to consumers," said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO at Upgrade. "Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade Card, plus the potential upside and fun of owning bitcoin."
Participating in the crypto economy
Upgrade isn’t the first company to announce a credit card with bitcoin rewards, but it’s the first one that is generally available. Anyone can apply with no waitlist, and start using their virtual card immediately until they get their physical card in the mail.
"Crypto rewards introduce cardholders to a new asset class that is increasingly part of a consumer's financial portfolio," said Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa. "Whether you're a crypto enthusiast or just getting started, programmes like the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card offer an engaging and low-risk way to participate in the crypto economy."
At the moment, you can’t do much with your bitcoins. You can choose to hold them or sell them. There’s no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for instance. If you choose to sell your rewards, there’s a 1.5% transaction fee.
This card is not currently available in all 50 states. Customers in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia can’t order an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at the moment.