Fintech in the Nordics: Innovations in Authentication and Opportunities in Acquisition

Fintech in the Nordics: Innovations in Authentication and Opportunities in Acquisition

Norway-based biometric startup Mobai won $3.16 million (EUR 2.8 million) in funding to enhance the protection of personal biometric data in coalition with Vipps BankID, Sparebank1 Østlandet, KU Leuven, and NTNU. The project, named SALT for “Secure privacy preserving Authentication using faciaL biometrics to proTect your identity,” will bring new functionalities to Mobai’s facial recognition solution, and improve the quality of the technology to help firms meet eiDAS and AML regulations.

The project will drive innovation in the field of facial biometrics, particularly in the areas of biometric template protection, face quality assessment, and presentation attack detection. Mobai CEO Brage Strand noted in a statement that innovation in facial biometrics is especially urgent insofar as vulnerabilities in current authentication strategies such as passwords and even two-factor authentication increasingly have been exploited by fraudsters and cybercriminals.

“Our aim is to offer consumers a unique opportunity to prove who they are, as a way to combat the surge in phishing and identity theft we currently experience,” Strand said. He added the goal of the project was to move “beyond comparing a photo you store on a device with a selfie” to bring the same level of trust found in ePassports “into a digital domain.” Strand also emphasized the importance of leveraging “privacy-preserving technology” to ensure GDPR compliance and the integrity of personally identifiable information.

Mobai’s partners represent an interesting cross-section of the country’s financial services industry. Sparebank1 Østlandet is the fourth largest savings bank in Norway. Vipps is a payments and electronic ID provider with more than four million electronic ID users. NTNU is the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the largest university in the country with more than 40,000 students; Mobai was spun out of NTNU’s Norwegian Biometrics Laboratory in 2019. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a research and educational institution, one of the oldest universities in Europe, with a reputation for pioneering scientific research.

“We see face recognition as a very promising and effective way to add an extra layer of security that will help combat identity theft, fraud, and money laundering,” Sparebank1 Østlandet EVP for Innovation and Business Development Dag Arne Hoberg said. “Imagine a situation where you may actually sign a mortgage electronically and use a ‘selfie’ as part of this process to confirm that your are the right person to sign.”

Meanwhile, in nearby Denmark, leading business automation software and services provider Visma announced its acquisition of expense management company Acubiz. Term of the transaction were not immediately available.

Visma will integrate Acubiz’s expense management solution into its Visma Enterprise HRM, but Acubiz will continue to function as an independent brand. The company, which has a 20% market share in Denmark and more than 200,000 users, offers solutions to help businesses better manage employee and travel expenses, as well as mileage reimbursement, invoice management, and time registration.

“I am excited to welcome another strong, Danish company into the Visma family,” Visma Enterprise A/S Managing Director Monika Juul Henriksen said. “There is no doubt that Acubiz is a perfect match not only businesswise but also in their culture and DNA. Acubiz wants to be the best – and so do we. Together, we will be even better.”

Founded in 1997 by Lars de Nully, Acubiz is based in Birkerød north of Copenhagen. This year, the company has forged partnerships with accounting firms Tal & Tanker and Tietotili, as well as with financial administration services provider Fiscales, HR software company Sympa, and Jutlander Bank.

In a year-end statement published on the Acubiz blog, the company noted that, in addition to its acquisition by Visma, it plans to unveil a new financial interface in 2022. The new UI will feature upgrades in performance, user-friendliness, and the ability to customize.

“By becoming a part of Visma, we do not only get a shortcut to new customers, markets, segments, and partners, we will also benefit from the knowledge and skills within legal, HR, marketing, and sales,” Acubiz Managing Director Henrik Malling said. “Being able to counsel with these experts is immensely valuable for us as a relatively small organization. So we honestly cannot wait to get started and to get to know all our new colleagues within Visma.”

FinovateEurope 2022 is right around the corner. If you are an innovative fintech company with new technology to show, then there’s no better time than now and no better forum than FinovateEurope. To learn more about how to demo your latest innovation at FinovateEurope 2022 in London, March 22-23, visit our FinovateEurope hub today!

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.


Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Photo by alleksana from Pexels

IDmission Presents INFORM, a Customer Onboarding and Engagement Framework

IDmission Presents INFORM, a Customer Onboarding and Engagement Framework

IDMissionThis post is part of our live coverage of FinovateFall 2015.

Our next presenter is IDmission with its suite of onboarding and engagement solutions.

INFORM is a fully configurable enterprise product that enables building of sophisticated user experiences without any programming. You can build your own forms with KYC, document management, image processing, biometrics, online calls, rules configuration, workflows, and payments integrated into them. INFORM is integrally connected to Ada, our cloud-platform infrastructure, enabling reuse of all Ada’s software components and connectivity to third-party systems.

Presenters: CEO Ashim Banerjee and CTO Sandeep Gandhi (not pictured)



Product Launch: March 2014
Metrics: 70 employees in the United States and India
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Business (B2B), through financial institutions, through other fintech companies and platforms.

HQ: Louisville, Colorado
Founded: February 2011
Twitter: @idmissionllc


FinovateFall Sneak Peek: IDmission

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: IDmission


The Sneak Peek series looks at the innovators demoing live on stage at FinovateFall 2015. Be sure to pick up your tickets to our annual autumn conference, and we’ll see you in New York!

IDMissionLogoIDmission utilizes a cloud-based platform that enables identity-initiated customer onboarding and engagement for financial services companies.


  • Fully configurable application-builder for creating unique customer-engagement experiences
  • Built using HTML5 for device-agnostic support
  • Know your customer (KYC) services, including biometrics

Why it’s great

IDmission solutions allow you to grow and change with the world around you. We haven’t built a product; it’s a platform that will help you solve problems now and into the future.


Ashim Banerjee, CEO

Sandeep Gandhi, CTO



Finovate Alumni News


Around the web

  • Yodlee’s startup incubator contributes to “Startup Fever.”
  • Revolut, Sedicii, SizeUp, & Token named Innotribe Startup finalists.
  • TIS signs deal to process school exams in Chile.
  • Trustly appoints Jonas Palmquist as chief financial officer.
  • features PsychSignal and Market Prophit in a discussion on market signals and social media.
  • Dwolla launches its white-label service to make it easier for FIs to use its FiSync transfer platform.
  • Segmint launches new marketing solution, Segmint Reach.
  • RetailWeek features TradeShift as startup of the week.
  • Lending Club celebrates surpassing $11 billion in loans.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Debuts: IDmission’s INFORM Boosts Onboarding and Engagement

Finovate Debuts: IDmission’s INFORM Boosts Onboarding and Engagement
If financial institutions could ask one thing of technology, it might be improving the ease, speed, and security of customer on-boarding. After all, if there is too much friction here at this first impression, a bank may not get a chance to make a second one.
In its Finovate debut, on-boarding specialist IDmission demonstrated its solution to this challenge: a fully-configurable, HTML, front-end application, INFORM. The technology allows users to build a variety of customized experiences without coding. Using the platform, users integrate document management, image processing, biometric authentication and KYC, payments and more into the documents they create.
“We are a platform that allows you to create your own experiences for on-boarding,” IDmission CEO Ashim Banerjee explained from the Finovate stage in February. “The idea is you define what product you have, what the data associated with that product should be, and what the data associated with that product should be in every different geography around the world.”
The Stats
  • Founded in 2011
  • Headquartered in Louisville, Colorado
  • Has 70 employees in the U.S. and India
  • Ashim Banerjee is CEO
The Story
IDmission recognizes the importance of taking advantage of the mobile channel to improve the on-boarding experience and make engagement more rewarding in general. The company is also well aware that on-boarding experiences can vary widely from one financial institution to another, to say nothing of the differences between regions or countries. A robust platform takes this into account, allowing FIs to make specific choices in the data they extract during the on boarding process.
The sophistication of data types also needs to be taken into account. In addition to text fields, images, voiceprints, other non-typical data such as biometrics may be part of the FI on-boarding process. That information must be both easily applied to the form by the new customer, as well as easily extracted from the form by the FI.
Above: Select and customize from a variety of field options
One interesting use case highlights both the security and mobile aspects of the platform. A change in the regulatory environment in a country in Latin America meant new requirements for companies managing pensions. These changes included a move from paper to tablet-based applications, as well as the use of a voice recording to confirm understanding of the transaction, and a fingerprint (actually two, one from the applicant and one from the agent).
The new regulations were the very definition of friction in the on-boarding process. Yet IDmission was able to partner with a local firm to develop a product that met all the regulatory requirements, from the new role of the mobile device to the multiple biometric data points that had become key parts of the authentication process.
“The data you collect in the U.S. is not the same as the data you collect in the U.K. It is certainly not the same as the data you collect in Mexico and India and so on,” Banerjee insisted. “Therefore you need either a big IT team developing products for you all the time, or a configurable tool. That’s the choice we have taken.”
Above: Form fields can include biometric data, such as voice and fingerprint
The Future
IDmission’s Finovate experience was a positive one, according to the company. The range of countries represented, as well as the diversity of companies from small to very large also impressed the Finovate newcomers. The company CEO was interviewed at the event by Finextra, and IDmission is slated to present at the NACHA Payments 3D event in April. Looking further into 2015, IDmission’s main objective for is to grow the platform. “We are expanding aggressively into new markets,” CEO Banerjee said. “We are looking for partners and resellers in Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia, and Indonesia.”
Above: Web-based detail report provides information on accounts.
Asked for a key takeaway about IDmission and INFORM, Banerjee highlighted three aspects. The first was the importance of being able to offer paperless automated on boarding worldwide, taking advantage of the growth of the mobile channel especially  in developing areas in Asia and Latin America. Second was the idea that biometrics can be integrated into the on-boarding experience in a compliant and seamless way.  And third, IDmission’s technology manages to be highly configurable without requiring programming knowledge to set up.
“We’ve been building technology platforms for the past twenty years,” Banerjee said, a point he repeated from the Finovate stage at the beginning of his company’s demonstration. “Perhaps even before the word fintech had come into the general vocabulary.” With any luck, and with more innovations like INFORM, IDmission will be here serving the fintech community for many more years to come.

See a video of IDmission’s demonstration at FinovateEurope 2015

IDmission Introduces INFORM, an Enterprise-level Forms Builder


This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateEurope 2015.
IDmission is presenting its cloud-based solution for identity-initiated customer onboarding and engagement.
INFORM is a fully configurable Enterprise forms product that enables building of sophisticated user experiences without any programming. You can build your own forms with KYC, document management, image processing, biometrics, online calls, workflows, and payments integrated into them. INFORM is integrally connected to Ada, our cloud platform infrastructure, enabling reuse of all Ada’s software components and connectivity to third-party systems.
Presenters: CEO and Pres. Ashim Banerjee; VP Product Dev. Angie Schmuck
Product launch: March 2014
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Business (B2B) through financial institutions, through global partners
HQ: Louisville, Colorado, U.S.A.
Metrics: 75 employees in the United States and India