Sparebank 1 acquires Norwegian technology base of mobile startup mCash

Sparebank 1 acquires Norwegian technology base of mobile startup mCash

Norway's Sparebank 1 has acquired the local market technology assets of Oslo-based mobile payment network mCash for an undisclosed sum.

Launched in 2014 with a $6.6 million funding round from Entree Capital and Northzone, mCash connects banks, merchants and consumers to a virtual mobile payment network offering physical retail, online and P2P payments.

With the acquisition, SpareBank 1 takes over 100,000 users, over 600 merchants, technological platform and POS integrations with major vendors.

The domestic asset sale is an important step in mCash's strategy to expand internationally, says COO Anders Bakke.

"We were amongst the first to develop and deploy a full stack mobile payment platform. With very attractive mobile solutions for consumers and businesses SpareBank 1 is securing a strong position," he says. "We will now shift our focus to new markets, and we are talking to multiple financial institutions that are ready to launch their own mobile payments initiatives using our core functionality as a platform."

The bank - which represents the interest of a group of 17 Norwegian savings banks - says the acquisition is in line with its strategy to collaborate with the startup community and invest in technology that has transformative potential.

Jan Frode Janson, chair of the SpareBank 1 Alliance, says: "SpareBank 1 will look beyond established vendors and internal processes when renewing the industry. Some services will succeed and others will fail. We have the attitude that we are more afraid to stagnate than to fail."

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