Finnish banks usher in new era of real-time payments as Sweden looks to ekrona
16 November 2016 | 10738 views | 3
A real-time multi-bank mobile payment platform has been launched in Finland by three of the country's top banks.
The new service, dubbed Siirto, has been designed and implemented by Tieto on behalf of Automatia, which operates a shared ATM network on behalf of OP Bank, Nordea and Danske Bank.
Siirto will only require end-users to have a mobile phone number for sending or receiving money both online and phone-to-phone, with all transfers occuring in real-time on the user’s bank account.
The service is similar to the successful Swish platform in Sweden, which is credited with ushering the country towards a cashless status. Indeed, a 40% drop in the use of notes and coins has spurred the Swedish central bank to contemplate the issuance of its own digital currency to counteract the decline. Cecilia Skingsley, deputy governor of the Riksbank had told the Financial Times that concerns over monetary policy and financial stability in a digital cash economy has spurred a project to explore the potential of the development of an 'ekrona'.
Countries in the Nordic bloc are often cited as flag bearers for the cashless economy. Marko Vilo, managing director of Automatia, believes Finland could soon follow Sweden's lead: "We are creating Finnish payment service history, and enabling consumers to transfer money between the various banks in seconds. This will dramatically change consumers’ payment behaviour."
The PSD2-ready platform offers an open interface to connect any licensed payment service provider to the service, in the expectation that it will provide the foundations for a new payments ecosystem in hte country.
“The Siirto payment platform is a major step forward in digital banking and real-time payments in Finland," says Sami Uski, head of banking & digital channels business development in Tieto. "We have created an ecosystem where Fintech companies, banks and other payment providers, can innovate and offer new payment options for their customers."