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Fintech Innovation and Open Banking in the Nordics

Fintech Innovation and Open Banking in the Nordics

This week we learned that Norway-based Finovate alum Signicat has teamed up with a German software company Cryptshare to market a new B2B identity verification solution. The technology combines email encryption and secure file transfer with trusted sender and recipient identities to make business communications safer and more accountable.

In other fintech news from the Nordics, Santander Consumer Bank in Norway went live with a new PFM app that leverages open banking solutions from Nordic API Gateway. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Nordic API Gateway made its Finovate debut last month at our all-digital fintech conference, FinovateEurope.

At the event, co-founder and CTO Gudmundur Hreidarsson demonstrated how the company’s platform simplified open banking payments and access to financial data, offering powerful account-to-account payment services through a single API. More than 40 financial institutions in Europe – including Lunar, Danske Bank, OP Financial Group, and Checkout Finland – rely on Nordic API Gateway’s open banking services.

“Current payment rails such as cards are very expensive for businesses and and increasingly inconvenient for consumers,” Hreidarsson said during his presentation last month. “Open banking changes that. It enables payments with low fixed fees per transaction rather than the high percentage fees of cards which can mean very significant cost savings for businesses – and is very convenient for consumers.”

“But getting into open banking and using open banking is hard,” he added. “It’s really hard. The APIs of the banks are slow to mature and there is still quite some way to go. Businesses are just starting to realize what kind of use cases can be solved with open banking. And consumers are only now discovering the convenience of paying with their accounts. That’s why we built Aiia, to offer an open banking platform that simply works.”

Companies from the Nordics (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and Greenland) have been well represented at FinovateEurope of late. This year alone featured – in addition to Nordic API Gateway – two companies from Sweden: Stockholm’s Dreams and Gothenburg’s Econans. Our most recent in-person FinovateEurope conference – held in Berlin, Germany – featured three companies from the region, as well: ReceiptHero and NordCheck of Finland, and Subaio of Denmark. Other Nordic fintechs that have demonstrated their technologies live on the FinovateEurope stage over the years include BehavioSec, Tink, and Klarna (Sweden); Encap Security, EVRY, Monobank, and Spiff (Norway); Meniga and Trustev (Iceland/U.K. and Iceland); and Mistral Mobile (Finland).

“It certainly seems that Schumpeterian destruction, where creating new markets is preceded by old ones being challenged or even destroyed, applies in the Nordics,” the team of Frida Jonsdottir, Olli Toivonen, Visa Jaatinen, Arttu Utti, and Richard Lindqvist wrote in the introduction to their FinTech in the Nordics: A Deloitte Review. “The Nordic FinTech market is rapidly growing and diversifying, with more companies and new technologies being created. This is happening regardless of the fact that the incumbent financial institutions are challenged by the lagging economic growth rates and ever changing regulatory burden, both of which afflict those who are looking to enter the market.”

Read the rest of the Deloitte report on fintech in the Nordics. For more about fintech in the region, check out:

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean


Sub-Saharan Africa

Photo by Valdemaras D. from Pexels