Sweden's SEB has signed Humla, a fintech startup from retail congolomerate Axel Johnson, as the first customer for its banking-as-a-service platform.
As a startup within the Axel Johnson Group, Humla intends to embed financial service products within its retail brands, catering to 1.5 million customer interactions each day.
“The retail companies within Axel Johnson have a deep understanding about their customers, which combined with modern technology will be used to build innovative financial services enabling more personalized experiences and data driven offerings,” says Emil Berg Eckerrot, CEO of Humla. “SEBx provides us with a complete banking platform built on modern technology, which allows us to focus on the customer experience instead of banking regulations.”
The Swedish bank's BaaS platform has been developed by SEB's innovation unit SEBx, which runs as a standalone entity using core banking technology from Thought Machine and Google’s Infrastructure and Data Cloud technologies.
“With our cloud-based banking-as-a-service platform, we can help partners to build new products or embed financial services in their customer journeys without becoming banks themselves. SEBx is built on top of SEB’s banking license, which allows us to be a complete provider of financial services,” says Christoffer Malmer, head of SEBx. “We want to collaborate and co-create together with innovative partners and look forward to continuing working with the team at Humla - our first banking-as-a-service customer.”
The plan is to bring the first Humla financial product to market during the year as part of a progressive release cycle.
Sara Öhrvall, board chair of Humla and COO of Axel Johnson, says: “At Axel Johnson, we believe retail will change more in the coming decade than it has done over the past century. The opportunity to include financial services in a thoughtful way into the customer experience will play an important part in the future of retail, and we are excited about the things we can achieve with this partnership."