December 9, 2016

Finland takes the lead with real-time payments

Sami Uski

Head of Business Development, Banking, Tieto

Tieto operated as catalyst in an ecosystem that generated Finland’s first real-time payment service and cross-banking mobile payment platform Siirto. Sami Uski shares his thoughts on collaboration, industry disruption and the future of payments.

Siirto is the first real-time mobile payment platform in Finland that works without a credit or debit card. The end-users only need a mobile phone number for sending or receiving money. All transfers will occur in real time on the user’s bank accounts similarly to the successful Swedish payment solution Swish.

Siirto is also the first mobile payment platform to follow the new rules for open payment interfaces (PSD2) two years ahead of the actual implementation date in Europe. This makes it possible for any EU licensed payment service provider to offer payments across the banks regardless on which Siirto member bank the account is opened.

Another distinguisher for Siirto is the process in which the solution was created – a collaborative ecosystem incorporating Tieto, Automatia and the Finnish banks.

Fintech ecosystem disrupt payments

Previously banks have had a tendency to work behind closed doors. However, this was the kind of project that no one could pull off on their own. When working in such an ecosystem of stakeholders, it is crucial to find the right operating model. For Siirto, Tieto helped Automatia and the banks in creating the ecosystem that made this possible.

We strongly believe the key to success was our ability to design and shape the solution and then neutrally negotiate it with the banks. We brought in new ways of working from our internal start-up Customer Experience Management (CEM). That together with Tieto’s long experience, deep knowledge and the relationship with Automatia as an infrastructure provider and the banks as end customer service providers was the key success factor on creating that working environment.

This new platform works across many different banks that are associated to Automatia, the Siirto platform provider in this ecosystem. Tieto operated as advisor on the business rule book negotiations for all Automatia’s member banks, designed the services for receiver registry and payment platform and developed all the services for Automatia’s platform.

Finland leads the way

Siirto leads the way for real-time payments in Europe and opens up for new service innovations for consumers, whether it is a retailer or a payment service provider. With this new, compliant platform, Finland is once again in the forefront of digital banking services. While not having the economy of scale in Finland we need to be smart and agile.

In the future, we will take a lead to utilize this unique platform also for consumer payments in web-shops and for in-store payments. Now we are looking to lead collaboration further not only with banks and payment service providers but also retailers and other service providers like public transportation. Our aim is to create open expanding ecosystems to speed up development on real-time payments.

Siirto will be available for consumers in early 2017. We will work hard to ensure that many retailers also will have integrated to Siirto by the end of next year.

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