Wednesday, April 19, 2017

UPDATE: Orange is launching a Bank

Orange is the name of a fruit, but it is also a major French Trademark in telecommunication: the largest telephone operator in France and probably in many other countries in the world.

Orange is a ".BRAND" applicant
Orange is also a .BRAND new gTLD applicant who applied for the .ORANGE new gTLD. At the moment, the Trademark has two domain names indexed in Google and they are redirections:
  1. entrepreneurclub.orange
  2. startup.orange
The traditional "nic.orange" redirects to a ".com". The Whois seems to redirect to a ".orange" domain name.

Welcome to "Orange Bank"
Orange is the majority shareholder of Groupama Banque which is rebranding to "Orange Bank". The explanation is available here. One will wonder why a French company rebrands to an English name, in particular when Groupama has probably more French clients than English ones. I have a few doubts:
  • Could this change of name to an English one have something to do with the withdrawal of the ".BANQUE" new gTLD*, in which case "Orange Banque" could also have been a good name and orange.banque a fantastic domain name to use? I doubt it.
  • Could another reason be that the Orange Trademark is also managed by the UK? The .ORANGE new gTLD application was submitted by Orange Brand Services Limited, a company based in the United Kingdom, not in France. Come on...
  • Orange is the Registry for its own domain name extension: will it consider a www.banque.orange for the French version of its website and a www.bank.orange for the English one? And...has someone noticed what"s behind www.orange.bank? "Good Lord"...

Orange.bank
I had a look at the Whois to check about the owner of the "orange.bank" domain name and the Registrant is the Orange County Trust Company. The Registrant has an email ending with the orangebanktrust.com domain name and this does not look like it belongs to the telecom company that I use for my mobile. In one word: one of the most important telecom company is launching a new product named "Orange Bank" and the exact same domain name belongs to...some sort of competitor.

Considering the .ORANGE new gTLD?
I am confident that this long time project already has a person in charge of thinking about securing the right domain names upfront and just "naming" in general, but isn't this the perfect moment to demonstrate innovation and start using domain names ending in ".orange"?

UPDATE
It seems that Orange, a French Bank, will be using an english word in its second level domain...with a ".fr" extension: http://www.orangebank.fr. I will keep crying during the next two weeks.

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