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Norwegian banks unite against big global tech companies

Tuesday 21 November 2017 | 11:05 AM CET

Norwegian banks have agreed to combine their payment units (Vipps, BankAxept and BankID Norge) in a bid to improve product offering.

Reuters reports that the deal is in preliminary and stakes are being negotiated.

The initiative comes at a time when the shadow of Amazon, Facebook and other big tech companies lingers over the banking industry. Some industry experts and decision-makers have expressed concerns over the growing interest of big tech companies to develop and promote financial services and products.

These financial initiatives could mean that banks will have to face serious competition from players with different backgrounds and business strategies. PSD2, which will come into force from 2018 onwards will allow third party providers to facilitate payments.

DNB CEO Rune Bjerke said: “We have two choices. Either let the existing payments infrastructure wither away, or join forces and push forward.”

DNB, banking group Eika, Sparebank 1 Gruppen and other Norwegian banks have announced that they will combine their payments applications to strengthen their position on the local market and to promote their products abroad.

“Through this undertaking, the Norwegian alternative is better positioned to compete against the major foreign players,” Vipps CEO Rune Garborg said

The new company formed after the merger will have 108 employees and will focus on improving the customer experience when paying for goods. Cost efficiency and accelerating innovation are also two big priorities.

The aim is to get the new company up and running by Aug. 1, 2018, pending approval from Norwegian authorities.

More: Link