Danish FinTechs Plug Regional Firms Into Global Commercial Networks

The Nordic countries are often considered pioneers when it comes to digital innovation and payments. With some of the lowest cash usage in the world and a history of interbank collaboration of money transfers and digital infrastructure, countries like Norway have been trendsetters in everything from real-time payments to mobile wallets.

Another key regional differentiator is the fact that the Nordics are not as tightly integrated into the European Union (EU) as many of its neighbors to the south. Norway and Iceland are not EU members and only Finland has adopted the euro.

To meet cross-border challenges that arise from this gap, FinTechs have stepped up to deliver technological solutions, with Denmark producing a high number of startups that are bridging the Nordics to the rest of Europe and the world.

Read more: How Nordic Payments Megastructure Can Drive Greater Regional Integration, Harmonization

For example, the widely used Danish mobile wallet MobilePay, which was introduced by Danske Bank in 2013, has been supporting multiple currencies right from launch and allows Danish users to make payments in krone or euros if needed.

Last year, it was announced that MobilePay would merge with Norway’s Vipps and Finland’s Pivo to create a new joint wallet and cross-border payments network. Once finalized, the merger will facilitate even greater integration within the Nordic payments ecosystem and beyond.

Related: Nordic Banks Strike Deal To Merge Three Mobile Payments Apps

Also related: Vipps CEO: Intense Competition From Big Techs Keeps Nordic Payment Firms On Their Toes

And when PYMNTS spoke to Vipps’ CEO Rune Garborg earlier this year, his view was that the combined payment solution will be the “strongest wallet in Europe,” enabling the firms to expand their reach beyond Denmark, Norway and Finland.

In the next of Denmark’s cross-border payments innovations, the Copenhagen-based open banking platform Aiia remains at the vanguard of API-powered account-to-account payments. Aiia now connects its clients to over 3,000 European banks and helps businesses make and receive cross-border transactions in real time with easy-to-use payment methods like the company’s recently launched pay-by-link feature.

More on this: EU Banking Platform Aiia Debuts Pay by Link

As proof that the Danish FinTech has grown into an important player facilitating payments across the Nordic region, last month the Finnish online payments company Paytrail, announced that its partnership with Aiia was helping facilitate more than 1 million open banking payments each month for its clients operating in the eCommerce space.

See also: Paytrail, Mastercard Partnership Boosts Open Banking in eCommerce

Beyond Europe, even Chinese businesses are enlisting Danish FinTechs to help them tap into Nordic markets. Last year, UnionPay, China’s largest card issuer, announced that it was joining forces with Denmark’s Nets to increase its contactless acceptance rate throughout the Nordic region.

Through the Nets deal, UnionPay cardholders now have access to a significant number of merchants accepting their cards in addition to a nearly complete ATM coverage across the region with access to more than 6,000 ATMs in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.


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