Orange has revealed that it plans to buy a majority stake in Groupama Banque, and that it is also in talks with fellow French telecom operator Bouygues Telecom. France's No. 1 wireless telecom and Internet service provider said it is in exclusive negotiations to buy 65 percent of Groupama Banque from insurance provider Groupama SA. The unit will form the foundation of a new phone-based banking service called Orange Banque which will be launched in France in 2017 before expanding into nearby European markets. Orange chairman and CEO Stephane Richard in March said he wanted to diversify Orange's operations away from pure telecommunications and noted that mobile banking offered important growth prospects. Orange hopes to make about €400 million ($431 million) of revenue from financial services in 2018 and already has plans to roll out its bank to Belgium and Spain, two markets in which it has a strong telecommunications presence. The Deal's Senior Reporter Lisa Allen has the details from New York.