Ericsson to connect banks, telcos and the unbanked
Using Sibos as a springboard into the wider financial services community, mobile technology giant Ericsson is hoping to persuade more banks to join Peru’s La Asociación de Bancos del Perú (Asbanc). The Association connects unbanked consumers, telcos and banks together to offer a full range of services across the globe.
Currently, three quarters of all payments made globally are made using cash, fuelled by a banking system that isn’t set up to cater for unbanked people wanting to make micropayments. The rise of mobile in both the developed and developing worlds is set to change this, believes Ericsson, and it is seeking to help banks become part of the move towards a ‘mobile first’ banking world.
“We are in 180 countries worldwide and sell to pretty much every telco – and in the developing world telcos have the consumer reach much more than the banks. But the banks see that the world is now mobile first and so we are here to get the two together,” said Peter Heuman, vice-president, global head of m-commerce at Ericsson.
“There are currently some 2 billion consumers worldwide who are unbanked, yet 1.7 billion of them have a mobile phone. The world is going digital and consumers want real-time, secure, mobile banking,” stressed Heuman.
But the challenges for banks trying to do this are sizeable. Legacy systems and poor infrastructure make it all the more difficult for banks to roll-out digital services in the developing world. Ericsson sees the time now to be ripe to step in and make this change.
“We are offering open technology that can help connect together banks, telcos and customers in a future-proof, digital way,” said Heuman. “The traditional closed rooms and corridors of the banking world are no good for the digital world, so we hope to open it up.”
Ericsson plans to do this by selling its wallet platform to banks and telcos across the world. It has already successfully partnered with Asbanc in Peru. Ericsson’s solution here provides full systems integration in one platform capable of hosting all services from all the different financial and commercial institutions involved in Asbanc to secure interoperability. The solution also allows financial service providers to reuse existing assets to bundle secure telecom and financial services. In addition, Ericsson provides Asbanc with systems integration, learning services, managed services and support.