Orange Bank launched artificial intelligence (AI)-based customer service support for its mobile-first bank, a move the company hailed as a first in the French market.

The assistant will use Orange’s Djingo, a French language AI service unveiled in April 2017 and set to be rolled out across a range of the operator’s other services, including as a voice control for smart home applications.

Orange said Djingo would be the first point of contact for customers, with specific types of queries then referred to its customer relationship centre to be dealt with by a member of staff.

It added the virtual assistant – which uses technology from IBM’s Watson system – allows customers to perform functions such as blocking cards at any time.

Orange Bank CEO Andre Coisne said: “Orange Bank has entered the banking market with an innovative, new offer. The virtual adviser brings our customers a unique experience allowing them to interact with their bank when and where they want.”