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Sobrio: Société Générale Reshaping Their Basic Offer

In response to emerging competitive offers by neo-banking players, Société Générale introduces a new set of banking services. Their basic offer is evolving through integrating other use cases for customers and adapting their business model to the current pressure on prices.

Société Générale unveils “Sobrio”, a reconsidered version of their basic retail banking offer which used to be called “Jazz”. This change translates into lower pricing scales (starting from €6.20/month). The new offer also differs from the previous package as it includes additional services, such as aggregation features (via Fiduceo) for accounts and invoices.

Sobrio includes a set of non-binding offers: free current account (without agios, or fees on cash withdrawals), payment card (and dynamic CVx version at a preferential rate) and insurance service. This package also bets on prevention measures: sending notifications to customers to help them manage their budget (e.g.: a weekly summary of their account balance).

Sobrio also relies on an aggregation offer for external accounts, and another aggregation service for invoices, payment notifications and account statements issued by more than 800 organisations (telcos/mobile carriers, electricity companies, e-merchants, etc.).

Comments – Changes, yet no low-cost approach for Société Générale

Société Générale chooses to replace their Jazz offer with Sobrio in response to competitive pressure from neo-banking services as well as to the increasing number of recently introduced low cost offers. This part used to be played by their subsidiary, Boursorama Banque. Société Générale also allows younger customers (15+) to subscribe. And they will enjoy particularly aggressive prices up to their 24th birthday. This offers would then chiefly target Millennials as is the case with Boursorama Banque.

This strategic choice is a way for a long-standing player to admit that their business models need to be redefined. Sobrio features lower prices (however it isn’t low-cost either) and more transparency as regards to these prices. Such arguments and innovative/connected service additions (i.e.: aggregation offers) for Sobrio, tend to lead Société Générale on a rather unexpected path. This bank does in fact propose this set of services under their own brand name, while they could just as well have been part of their commercial strategy for Boursorama. Yet, as they have to face Eko (Crédit Agricole) or Orange Bank, they need to redraw their own lines, too.