Case: SEBx aspires to drive innovation in banking

A fintech startup within SEB

Driving radical innovation in any established, incumbent organization rarely comes naturally, and banking is probably no exception. Having built IT systems, designed processes and established structures over many decades means that even where there is no lack of willingness to embrace change, practical challenges need to be overcome. 

SEBx was created as one of many strategic initiatives across the SEB Group aspiring to address this challenge. Described as a fintech startup within the bank, SEBx is mandated to explore new technologies and build new customer offerings, drawing upon the strength of the incumbent bank in combination with modern technology and new ways of working.

The first product released by SEBx, based on its new technology platform, is UNQUO – a digital banking service specifically designed to cater to the needs of the self-employed.

As a new service, UNQUO is conscious to offer an onboarding process that is as seamless as possible for its users, while not compromising on regulatory compliance. The result is one of the swiftest onboarding flows in the industry.

“We aspired to take a completely fresh approach to customer onboarding in banking, by leveraging new technologies and new partners but also by re-designing the actual process,” explains Emelie Magnusson, CPO at SEBx.

"Comparison of required clicks to create an account - Builtformars.com"

“In UNQUO’s case, it only takes a total of 15 clicks, or a few minutes, to get through the onboarding flow, while we conduct all the required controls in the background.”

Real-time customer data key to success

A key enabler of the re-designed onboarding experience in UNQUO is the approach to data collection and verification, which helps fulfill the ambition of regulatory compliance as well as creating a great user journey. The UNQUO onboarding has been designed to keep input fields to a minimum with more data required only as the relationship broadens or the user behavior deviates from expectations.

"Emelie Magnusson, CPO at SEBx" - Photo: Felicia Yllenius

“By only collecting and paying for the data we actually use, instead of buying bulk data, we can reduce costs and data management in the registration process. We can interrupt or even discontinue – in the nicest possible way – the onboarding flow if we discover that the product is not suitable for a particular person or company, meaning that data collection ceases immediately from that point. As a result, we don’t waste anyone’s time unnecessarily or have a user complete an onboarding without being able to access the product,” Emelie continues.

Adding to the onboarding process, SEBx is also using monitoring services to ensure compliance over time.

“The monitoring services are great – not only do they ensure that we have correct, up-to-date data at all times, but they also help us work proactively with customers, confirming potential changes immediately, and help customers steer clear of fraud or irregular activities affecting their company,” says Emelie.

What does the future hold for SEBx?

So what’s next for the SEBx innovation studio? Using the new technology platform underpinning UNQUO, combined with important insights gained from the project, SEBx plans to offer out its banking technology platform to more customers.

As such, SEBx will enter the market of Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), where capabilities like regulatory compliance and customer onboarding can be delivered as a service, allowing customers to embed financial services into their own customer offerings and journeys.

“Banking-as-a-service is a fascinating space developing really quickly right now. For us, it is about leveraging our strengths as a full-service bank, building new technology around it." says Christoffer Malmer, Head of SEBx.

"Christoffer Malmer, Head of SEBx"

"But it is also about finding the right partners to help build great products and services. Our experience is that Roaring is a great partner in the area of data collection and real-time subscription.”

About SEBx

SEBx is the SEB innovation studio set out to drive progress, push boundaries and instigate change. SEBx explores new technologies and ways of doing things in banking and financial services.

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