Ahead of our NextGen Nordics conference on 27th April 2022, we will be putting together a weekly briefing of selected 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.
68% of European consumers abandoning financial applications during onboarding
Norwegian AML and KYC company Signicat has released research which shows 68% of consumers in Europe have abandoned onboarding processes in the past year. According to the company, these are the worst results for financial service providers since findings in 2016 and is up from 63% in 2020.
An “expectation paradox” was also found when comparing markets, which revealed that countries with supposedly easier and faster onboarding experiences, due to digital identity schemes like BankID, did not necessarily have lower abandonment rates.
In fact, consumers in “more mature” digital identity markets were more demanding, less likely to tolerate a bad experience, and in some cases more likely to abandon an application.
The Signicat report, The Battle to Onboard: The Growing Power of Consumer Demands, found that 30% of customers felt the application process was “complicated”, with the average time a consumer would abandon an online application being 18 minutes and 53 seconds, seven minutes quicker than results from 2020.
Ping Payments selects Sentinels for AML controls
Ping Payments announced their selection of Sentinels to reinforce its anti-money laundering (AML) controls.
Sentinels’ AI-based solution tests new monitoring rules in a no-code sandbox to then deploy, test and calibrate these new rules in real-time. It also compiles all customer information into one simple profile that can be accessed immediately with minimal training required, while offering transaction monitoring at scale.
Petter Sehlin, CEO of Ping Payments, says: “With compliance across new territories and verticals a requisite, combined with the reality that we had grown beyond our in-house monitoring solutions, the decision to choose Sentinels was easy to make. Sentinels’ machine learning approach to monitoring transactions allows us to scale our business without being held back by inefficiencies.”
Joost van Houten, CEO of Sentinels, adds: “The financial services space has become increasingly challenging in recent years, making transaction monitoring far more complicated. The operational efficiency demanded in online marketplaces is vital to Ping Payments’ business. Sentinels is delighted to support such a crucial requirement, and to ensure the company’s ongoing compliance with AML regulation. Ping Payments is also our first Nordic partner, representing another proud milestone for Sentinels.”
Arion Bank chooses Banfico OB Directory Plus to verify TPPs
Iceland’s Arion Bank announced that Banfico OB Directory Plus will support its open banking and PSD2 access-to-account compliance process, in light of the PSD2 coming into full effect in Icelandic law in May 2022.
Kristjan Theodor Sigurdsson, technical product manager for open banking at Arion Bank, says: “Partnering with Banfico will allow us to add an additional layer of security to our services by making sure that the third party providers connecting to us have the license to perform the services they are requesting, at the time of requesting them.”
Kannan Rasappan, CEO, Banfico, adss: “As the number and volume of Open Banking transactions start taking off and more data is accessible to third parties, banks should be prepared to take action before their reputation is at risk.”
Lunar offers €132 million to acquire Norway's Instabank
Nordic financial challenger Lunar has made a cash offer of €132 million to acquire all shares of Norwegian digital bank Instabank.
Founded in 2016, Instabank today serves more than 60,000 customers in Norway, Finland and Germany with both secured and unsecured loans and savings.
The acquisition will significantly increase Lunar’s footprint in Norway and additionally open the door to the Finnish market ahead of launching its full product offering. The offer follows the 2021 takeover of Swedish lending platform Lendify and Danish based payments platform Paylike.
Ken Villum Klausen, founder and CEO of Lunar, says: “We are excited for the opportunity to acquire Instabank and together challenge, innovate and build a stronger Nordic entity that will benefit our customers.”
The move to acquire Instabank comes just weeks after Lunar raised €70 million in fresh capital, a top up to the Nordic challenger's €210 million Series D in July last year. The cash injection coincided with the launch of B2B payments for its business customers and plans to develop a new crypto trading platform.
Danish split payments startup Anyday raises €4 million
Danish fintech Anyday has raised €4 million in seed funding to bring its split payments BNPL-style service to Scandinavia. Anyday's split payment concept lets shoppers divide the cost of a purchase into four, with 25% of the amount paid up front, without any fee or interest and a high credit line.
More than 1000 online merchants in Denmark have already joined Anyday, with around 20,000 customers using the service. Now, the startup is looking to spread across the Nordic countries and to move into physical stores, via a virtual card and an app.
Jonas Overgaard, CEO, Anyday, says: "We want to become an omni-channel service for our merchant partners not limited to webshops only, but also as a payment alternative at in-stores to give the merchants the opportunity to offer more payment solutions."
Swedish A2A specialist Zimpler raises new equity funding from Nordstjernan Growth
Swedish payments company Zimpler has raised new equity funding from Nordstjernan Growth. In 2021, the company saw its 10th anniversary and a 176% growth in transaction volumes.
The investment will enable Zimpler to further drive its growth and accelerate the company’s commercial development by broadening its customer base and investing in developing new customer verticals. It will also allow Zimpler to continue the march toward expanding its geographical network, both in Scandinavia and worldwide.
Nordstjernan joins Zimpler’s previous investors, which include Inbox Capital and CNI, and becomes a minority owner. Zimpler will be the third holding in Nordstjernan Growth's portfolio. FT Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor in the transaction.