France’s Groupe BPCE to Buy German Fintech Company Fidor Bank

  • Fidor app lets users open accounts, transfer money from phones
  • Founder and CEO Kroener to stay on as head of business

French bank Groupe BPCE agreed to buy German smartphone banking services company Fidor Group for an undisclosed amount, highlighting interest in so-called fintech software that lets consumers bypass traditional banks.

Munich-based Fidor, which operates Fidor Bank AG, plans to use the tie-up with France’s second-largest banking group to expand into new countries, the company said in a statement. Chief Executive Officer Matthias Kroener, who founded Fidor in 2009, will stay on as head of the acquired business.

Fintech companies, which offer checking accounts, retirement saving plans and money transfers from consumers’ smartphones, have been attracting increased investment as younger and time-pressed consumers seek new ways of managing their money. Berlin’s N26 this month was awarded a banking license by the European Central Bank and the German financial authority. European banks are reorganizing to push digital services, and Internet startup investor Rocket Internet SE is also elbowing into the field.

Fidor Bank has a deal with Telefonica Deutschland, the Spanish carrier’s German unit, to power a mobile finance app called O2 Banking. Customers can open an account via video link from their smartphones and transfer money to people selected from their address books.

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