News and resources on payments systems, innovations and initiatives worldwide.
NextGen Nordics: Icelandic challenger indó receives operating license

NextGen Nordics: Icelandic challenger indó receives operating license

Ahead of our NextGen Nordics conference on 27 April 2022, we will be putting together a weekly briefing of all the top stories that are emerging out of the region and setting the blueprint for payments innovation across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

NextGen Nordics will bring together multiple stakeholders – the banking community, central banks, public authorities and trade and business beneficiaries – to generate community discussion, explore the benefits and offer practical advice on activating the opportunities of new technologies in the Nordic region. Register for the event here.

indó receives operating license and $4.5 million seed funding

Icelandic challenger bank indó has announced it has received $4.5 million seed funding and has been granted a licence from the Central Bank of Iceland to operate as a savings bank.

Haukur Skúlason, CEO at indó comments: “The financial services industry is one of the lowest-ranked worldwide when it comes to trust and is driven by bank failures, ongoing scandals, revelations of corruption and participation in money laundering. indó is going back to the roots of banking to restore trust, regain transparency and return tradition to a field that sorely needs a new approach.”

Will Ferrell invests in Denmark’s Lunar

Danish neobank Lunar has received fresh investment from US actor and comedian Will Ferrell. Ferrell's investment was disclosed in a LinkedIn post, which features a video of Ferrell repeating the Lunar brand name multiple times to the camera, in apparent homage to a famous Postbanken video from the 1990s.

"By joining Lunar I am expanding my engagement in the Nordic countries, which is close to my heart," says Ferrell. "Nordic people are smart, sexy and are tired of having their money messed with. That’s where Lunar comes into play as a digital disrupter in the financial industry.”

Zimpler partners with Rabble

Swedish fintech Zimpler has announced its partnership with Rabble to offer instant cashback payouts to customers in Sweden. Rabble will allow customers to earn cashback on partnering grocery brands, including Cuba Cola, Schweppes, and Valio. Customers can scan their receipt through the app and accumulate money and once 50 SEK is reached customers can use Zimpler to withdraw money.

Danish Financial Supervisory Authority releases CBDC memo

The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA) released a 10-page memo this week regarding the use of blockchain for efficient infrastructure for payment services. This comes after the testing of startup ZTLment which uses smart contract software on Algorand to transfer money between businesses. The solution does not use volatile cryptocurrency or unregulated stablecoins, but instead it uses e-money, which like bank deposits and cash are categorised as funds under Danish and European payments law.

A spokesperson for DFSA states that tests in their regulatory sandbox FT Lab showed that “it is possible to make fast, secure and efficient payments on blockchain. The test also shows that blockchain-based payment services have the potential to compete with existing payment solutions that use the existing payment infrastructure.”

Professor Roman Beck from the IT University of Copenhagen and ZTLment added: “We now have an EU regulator saying it is possible to program fiat money on blockchain. It is a game-changer.”

Banking Circle releases Danish Krone white paper on clearing and settlement

The Banking Circle has released a white paper entitled Payments without barriers: Focus on Denmark, which examines breakthroughs in clearing and settlement that are set to make payments faster and cheaper for businesses trading with Denmark.

Key findings include:

  • Denmark has the second highest electronic payments penetration rate in Europe
  • The total volume of digital commerce (through internet and mobile channels) grew by almost 30% in 2020
  • 37% of companies transacting in and out of Denmark are looking to improve their trade settlement times, compared to 27% across Western Europe

Sweden's Wellstreet launches $40m fintech fund

Swedish venture capital firm Wellstreet has pulled together a host of leading Nordic bankers and fintech players for a new $40 million fintech fund. The fund will look to make up to 20 investments in early stage B2B service and infrastructure technology providers. Executives from Avanza, Collector, Handelsbanken, Swedbank, Northmill, Resurs and Klarna hare backing the fund.

All startups that receive investment from the fund will automatically become part of the Fintech Loft, which will provide them with mentoring and coaching as well as credits from AWS to accelerate product development.


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