Norway’s Vipps To Merge With Nordic Payment Apps

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Norway’s Vipps will merge with companies in Denmark and Finland to become one of Europe’s biggest mobile payment providers.

Vipps is joining forces with MobilePay in Denmark and Pivo in Finland. The combined group aims to become a mobile payment powerhouse with 11 million customers and more than 700 million annual transactions in the Nordic region.

Norwegian girls using Vipps

Most importantly, the new service will allow cross-border payments. It’s a big consolidation in a region that has taken huge steps towards becoming cashless in recent years.

A popular payments app

Vipps has quickly become an essential app in Norway. Norwegians use it to pay for everything from cellphone bills and car parking to groceries in a supermarket and fresh fruit from a market stall.

Users scan a barcode or type in a mobile number for personal payments or a shortcode to pay businesses. The money is sent immediately between bank accounts.

Taking on global competition

However, the app has one major downside and that’s its domestic focus. Tourists cannot use the system as it requires a Norwegian bank account, while Vipps users cannot use the app overseas.

Planet Earth sunrise
Vipps has been limited to use in Norway—until now

The group wants to join forces to better compete with global competition from Apple, Google and Alibaba.

“Competition within payments is global, not local, and we need an even stronger footprint to compete with international players. By combining three of the best-loved brands in the Nordics, and building an even stronger technology platform, we can create world-class payment simplification for all,” said Rune Garborg, chief executive of Vipps.

What the new group will look like

Although the deal is a merger and not a takeover, Vipps will very much take the lead in the new-look company.

Owned by more than 100 Norwegian banks, Vipps will hold 65% of the combined group. Vipps chief executive Rune Garborg will retain his role in the new venture. Kjerstin Braathen, DNB chief executive and current chair of Vipps, will also continue as head of the board.

Danske Bank’s MobilePay will take 25% with 10% going to OP Financial Group’s Pivo.

Norwegian using the Vipps app

“It is very expensive to compete with global competitors in this space and in order to continue to develop the most attractive solutions for our customers, MobilePay must be part of something bigger to gain scale and pool investments for further innovation,” said Danske Bank’s Glenn Soderholm.

The banks said they expected the deal to receive final regulatory approval, including from the European Commission, in early 2022 or possibly by the end of this year.

Sweden excluded—for now

Vipps said they hoped to approach Swedish partners now that the new venture has been announced. The obvious omission is Swish, the region’s original payments app that’s owned by six Swedish banks.

“We think it is an interesting development that we are following closely,” said Swish, but it declined to comment on whether it was involved in discussions or not.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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2 thoughts on “Norway’s Vipps To Merge With Nordic Payment Apps”

  1. It’s so stupid. Walked in to the nightclub wanted to order double JDwith cola and I’ve been told in Norway we are not allowed to sell double, then I said single is fine, so you need to download this app was struggling with that shit after few drinks I just wanted to get drink and pay for it by card. No you need to have stupid app WTF. CONTROL OVER PEAPOL TOTALLY

  2. You already stated it yourself:
    “Tourists cannot use the system as it requires a Norwegian bank account”.
    However, I was in several situations where Vipps was the one and only way of paying (parking; admittance to “bom-vej”).
    By giving Vipps the monopoly in ways of payment, implicitely Norway doesn’t allow foreign tourists entrance to some aereas.
    Norway doesn’t like tourists from abroad?


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