SEB is involved in and is exploring the future of financial services in the “Internet of Things”. This is being done within the framework of the EU-funded Productive 4.0 project, where SEB is the only financial institution participating in the work on setting joint standards for digitalising European industry. This work is being conducted in close collaboration with several of the bank’s industrial corporate customers.
“We want to be the natural choice for customers seeking to digitalise their business,” says Robert Pehrson, who is responsible for business development in Transaction Services at SEB. “This project provides knowledge and insights that will enable us to help companies boost their profitability and productivity by taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by digitalisation.”
A total of 109 European companies, universities and research institutions are participating in the project. Among the companies, several are SEB customers.
The name Productive 4.0 alludes to a combination of the fourth industrial revolution – i.e., digitalisation (the prior revolutions being steam power, electricity and electronics) – and Industry 4.0, which in short is a vision of smart and entirely automated manufacturing.
One of SEB’s starting points for the project concerns which types of financial services, such as micro-payments, are needed in a connected world in which machines order – and pay for – services directly from each other.
The project also addresses deliveries and trading in physical goods. Today goods are exported around the globe in logistics chains that are separate from the financial chains. For example, payments are handed in separate flows through invoices, export and import guarantees, and so on.
“But what says that we cannot incorporate payment with the delivery of the physical product, so that payment is made automatically when delivery of the product to a specific physical location is verified?” asks Robert Pehrson. “It is this type of radical change that the project is looking into”, says Johan Hörmark, project responsible for Productive 4.0 within SEB.
Responsibility for organising Productive 4.0 is held by Infineon Technologies in Germany. The project is funded by the EU and, for Sweden’s part, also by Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation agency) and the participating companies.
The work will be conducted over a three-year period with the specific goal to have technology and platforms ready to be put into production.