A 40-plus priority project plan in full swing, Norway once again close to proceedings and ongoing discussions with all four countries’ financial authorities, project P27 is very much on track, P27 CEO Lars Sjogren assures, in a frank and candid interview with Finextra
After Coronavirus brought the world temporarily to a halt, work behind the scenes on the world’s first real-time cross border multicurrency clearing and settlement platform, serving the four Nordic currency communities, has not faltered.
“We saw some impact on some activities but largely we are sticking to the plans that we had pre-Corona. [The industry] can expect to see a lot of P27 in the second half of 2020,” Sjogren says.
Such plans include the setting up and building of data centres in Sweden “and also in Norway”, and the frontrunner implementation project now up and running in Sweden.
“Four banks are participating and they are deeply involved in the realisation and they will be the first ones that go on to the platform, representing 60% of the Swedish market,” Sjogren says.
“In parallel with Instant, we are reaching out to the rest of the Scandinavian and Nordic banking communities to ask what are their plans for P27. So I know, for sure, there is a lot of hard work going on also on the banking side right now.”
Work is ongoing across SEK, DKK and Euro instant- as well as other batch- schemes. “We are at various stages of implementation there,” he says.
In order to manage the product migration on top of the implementation, a transformation committee has been set up, with broad representation from banks, including Norway’s DNB, alongside a couple of Swedish banks and the P27 owners.
Sjogren is upbeat about commitment from all four countries, referring to Norway deciding to take a step back from the project as “the only real setback we had”.
Discussions are taking place with the financial services authorities in all four countries and with the central banks in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
“It’s good to see that the DNB now is much closer to P27 than they were six months ago. We are working on the Nordic bill payments solution, and in the planning work that DNB is a part of. So when we think about P27 as a Nordic initiative, we definitely include Norway,” Sjogren says.
The current laser focus, however, lies with the three other countries that are fully committed, extending to banks large and small in those communities. And the work different players need to undertake, with P27’s lead.
Beyond the proclamations and the PowerPoint visions, Sjogren says they have now hit “the difficult year” as the reality of work involved in turning the vision into concrete activities gets underway.
Efforts in the second half of the year will zero in on how to deliver the intended benefits to the pan-Nordic banks, businesses and consumers.
Sjogren reiterates a fourfold summary of these:
- Making it easier to build smart mobile solutions that work seamlessly across border;
- Building a resilient platform that can deal with increasing numbers of payments- “one payment super highway”;
- The potential such a platform gives for innovative products and services to be built on top;
- The potential for solving fraud and AML challenges, both in the Nordics and also across Europe.