November 22, 2017

The future of real-time payments in the Nordics

Christian Segersven

Executive Vice President, Tieto Financial Services

It is a very exciting time for real-time payments in the Nordics. Services like Swish and Siirto began with person-to-person payments and are now growing extremely fast within e-commerce. And the future will see more customer-oriented services that makes users’ lives easier.

Digital disruption and increasing customer demands has put pressure on the financial services industry to develop products and services with high user experience in a short amount of time. This means no player can do it on their own. Ecosystems where we come together and co-create are crucial for driving innovation and offering highly adaptable and affordable services that make end users’ lives easier and help create a smarter society where we can all thrive.

What we have learned from working in and facilitating ecosystems is that they are like ecosystems in nature; no one owns them, they cannot be defined in one single way and they are living organisms. One day, two players can form a fruitful coalition, while the other players are focusing on their expert areas, driving the development from their end. In one moment, two of these players found each other and formed a mutually beneficial relationship. The future within real-time payments is to be found in these ecosystems, a truly agile way of working.

Who would have believed some time back that two large Nordic banks would join forces to form a joint venture? Or that a bank’s service becomes an ecosystem platform for a whole country?

Payments integrated in other processes

Payments in the traditional sense bear less and less meaning, and are becoming more and more digital. In Sweden, Swish users don’t pay or transfer money, they Swish. The payment process is likely to become even more closely integrated with other processes, as a final step in online orders for example. It will not be financial services as a sector that owns the payment process. Retailers and e-commerce companies are in in the front seat, while logistics also has its role when a customer sends their product back. Payments will not be one-directional, but flow in many directions. All this points to the different industries becoming closer and closer, making payments more integrated in other processes. All this is creating a smooth customer experience.

Bringing value for Nordic businesses and people through payment solutions will therefore be focused around co-creation in ecosystems. This is not only results-oriented, but it’s an environment and ecosystem which utilizes analytics, AI and overall understanding of data on behalf of consumers. I am convinced this will be a big part in shaping the future and real-time payments in the Nordics.

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Would you like to know more about my views on finance industry? Read my previous blogs:

Digital start-ups — the fast lane to digitalization

Data is the key to new operational models for the insurance industry


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