Ericsson and SEB make banking personal again

When was the last time you visited your bank? The advent of internet banking – now accessible via phones as well as PCs – has made the idea of actually traveling to a physical bank branch seem antiquated.

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And yet there are still times when, despite the amazing convenience of internet banking, there is no substitute for being able to talk to another human being. So you find some time in your busy schedule, make an appointment and fight the traffic on the way to the bank.

If only there were a better way.

There is, of course, and so Ericsson and Swedish financial group SEB have joined forces to make it possible for customers in the Baltics to talk to bank employees the same way we talk to many of our friends and family members: via video chat.

Launched commercially in January, the SEB remote advisory service – based on the Ericsson Contextual Communication Cloud – enables private customers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to receive personal financial advice using nothing more than an internet browser. Neither the adviser nor the customer needs to travel, no software needs to be installed and the communication service is completely integrated with the bank’s existing business processes. In trials conducted in 2016, 95% of private banking customers in Lithuania and SME customers in Estonia said they would recommend the service to their friends.

Riho Unt, Head of the Baltic Division at SEB, says Ericsson’s Contextual Communication Cloud has helped to humanize an offering that is at risk of becoming increasingly impersonal. Although we all appreciate the increased convenience that has resulted from the digital transformation of banking, we lose something if we’re always interacting with computers rather than people. Sometimes customers would appreciate the ability to hold a face-to-face conversation with SEB advisers without having to take time out of their busy schedules to travel to branch offices. The remote advisory service offers the perfect compromise.  

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Since Ericsson’s Contextual Communication Cloud is based on Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) protocols and application programming interfaces, it enables video conferencing and other collaborative features without the need for plugins or applications to be installed. Bank customers appreciate the increased interaction facilitated by video conferencing and banks may in turn benefit from increased customer loyalty.

At Ericsson, we believe WebRTC has the potential to transform the internet, making personalized communication a natural part of any company’s web portal. The Ericsson Contextual Communication Cloud service has been designed so that it can be easily integrated with any IT environment. If you would like to learn more about how it could be used to personalize your company’s digital communications, contact your local Ericsson sales office.

Today's post was written by Magnus Wester, Head of Enterprise Communication at Ericsson and a firm believer in WebRTC’s potential to transform the internet.


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