Nordic banks strive for harmonised cross-border payments infrastructure

Nordic banks strive for harmonised cross-border payments infrastructure

A group of major Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish banks have banded together to explore the possibility of establishing a pan-Nordic payment infrastructure supplemented by common products.

The initiative, which is backed by Danske Bank, DNB, Handelsbanken, Nordea, OP Financial Group, SEB and Swedbank. shares the objectives of current domestic infrastructure projects in Norway and Sweden, but aims at achieving them on a Nordic scale.

The Nordic payment market are among the most advanced in the world but remain fragmented along national borders.

The banks backing the project believe that a harmonisation of the domestic infrastructures and the products offered would ease cross-border payments and foster further trade between the Nordic countries, stimulating growth and employment.

"The vision is to create, within the Nordics, the worlds’ first area for domestic and cross-border payments in multiple currencies (SEK, DKK, NOK and EUR)," state the banks. "Based on open access and common European standards, the infrastructure will contribute to increased competition among payment service providers in the Nordics."

Consultations with national utilities and stakeholders are to take place in advance of drawing up a firm blueprint.

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