Nordic mobile wallets MobilePay, Pivo and Vipps are joining forces to create a single payments app with a combined user base of 11 million consumers across Finland, Denmark and Norway.
The new joint wallet will form the foundation for a cross-border payments network across the Nordic countries, processing 700 million transactions and comprising 300,000 mechants.
Rune Garborg, CEO of Vipps, (pictured) says: "Competition within payments is global, not local, and we need an even stronger footprint to compete with international players. By combining three of the best-loved brands in the Nordics, and building an even stronger technology platform, we can create world-class payment simplification for all."
Under the agreement, Gaborg will be appointed CEO of the new company, and Claus Bunkenborg , CEO of MobilePay, will take a seat on the executive management team. Kjerstin Braathen, chair of the board at Vipps and CEO of DNB, will take the chairman's seat.
The new company will be headquartered in Oslo and subject to regulation by the Norwegian authorities. There will be no redundancies as a result of the merger, with the combnined company employing over 500 staff across Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Lithuania.
The merger will create one of the largest bank-owned mobile wallets in Europe, with instititutions behind Vipps owning a majority 65% stake. MobilePay owner Danske Bank will hold a 25% stake and OP Financial Group, the backer of Pivo, will maintain a 10% interst.
Glenn Söderholm, head of personal & business customers in Danske Bank, says: "It is very expensive to compete with global competitors in this space and in order to continue to develop the most attractive solutions for our customers, MobilePay must be part of something bigger to gain scale and pool investments for further innovation."
Under the plan, Vipps - the most up-to-date technology technology platform, running on public cloud and independent of its bank owners - will provide the technical backbone and be expanded to meet Danish and Finnish requirements.
"This will create a much stronger starting point for providing customers — both end users and merchants — with more and even better solutions at an even faster pace," says Claus Bunkenborg, CEO of MobilePay. "We have the clear ambition of enabling private users to use the joint wallet for cross-border payments between the Nordic countries."
As part of the process of merging the three Nordic companies, Vipps will de-merge from BankID and BankAxept in Norway.