This article originally appeared in The Paypers ‘Open Banking Report 2021′. The article was independently edited by The Paypers and is re-shared here. You can download a free, printable PDF copy of the ‘Open Banking Report 2021’ by visiting The Paypers Reports section here.
How did the pandemic influence Open Banking innovation?
Agnija: We are a global team and thus it was not an issue to adjust to working remotely. Some adaptation to our working routines and daily lives was required, but we managed to adapt fairly easily.
However, we noticed an impact on our customers, partners, consumers, and providers. Several companies were dealing with uncertainty and we had to put ongoing dialogues with some companies and partners on hold for a while.
Agnija: Some customers and third parties, especially in the PSD2 and PISP areas, benefited from this pandemic because, as we all know, online shopping skyrocketed and, subsequently, online payments reached very high levels. Everything related to the payments industry, online shopping, customers’ seamless payments experience, all businesses which are working in this area – our core partners, our customers – thrived.
Ulrika: Technology, regulations, customer expectations, and changing behaviour drive the adoption and use of banking APIs. The pandemic boosted the adoption of digital banking solutions. Some of that also led to increased use of both regulatory APIs and API-based banking solutions. We saw customers moving to different digital environments, and Nordea started providing services through others; this indicates the customer push towards different digital solutions.
What lies behind banks partnering with fintechs and what are the benefits for banks?
Ulrika: The Nordics has proved to be a fertile region for many fintechs and startups for many years. Back in 2017, we believed fintechs would grow more into partners. Banks had customers and fintechs had skilled developers, so it seemed like a good match. Since then, the partner setup has been tested in some areas, with not as good results as thought possible at first.
There is a lot of venture capital in the Nordics and it’s not always easy to find a match between banks and fintechs. Besides that, it is often cumbersome to settle a partnership between large and heavily regulated banks and a small and VC-driven company in need of moving fast and showing a profitable business in an area where there is no room for a middleman or a customer willing to pay for a cool solution.
Few have succeeded, to be early out has been a strength.