Investing in fintechs to accelerate innovation

Investing in fintechs to accelerate innnovation
Casper von Koskull, Group CEO
17-11-29 13:11 | Markets and investments | About Nordea

Nordea is constantly looking for ways to accelerate innovation to strengthen our offering to customers. That’s why we’ve set up Nordea Ventures. It’s part of our ambition to seek new partners and ideas to unleash the full potential of start-ups and shape the future of banking.

In a volatile, uncertain world, the one constant in today’s digital society is change. New business models, products and services are developing rapidly to meet changing customer expectations. The digital revolution is also transforming banking.

“The banking industry is changing, and we’re well prepared to change along with it,” says Casper von Koskull, President and Group CEO of Nordea. “We’re reinventing ourselves so we can quickly deliver what our customers want. It’s important to understand their needs to see how we can live up to their expectations.”

With Nordea Ventures, we will be even better equipped to bring to market innovative products and services that our customers want – whenever they need them – to make their lives easier. We don’t have all the answers, but what we do know is that we can’t do this on our own – and we need to act quickly.

“We’ve only just begun to see the potential of digital technologies, not only in the financial services sector but also in society at large,” says Ewan MacLeod, Chief Digital Officer at Nordea. “The winners will be our customers, who will benefit from a vast ecosystem of players and products.”

Creating strategic value

Nordea Ventures will invest mainly in start-up and growth companies, primarily within the financial technology sector, that are mainly active in the Nordic region. To support and accelerate innovation and strengthen our offering to customers, we will focus heavily on investments where we see mutual strategic value.

Active engagement from the business is also key to our approach and primary focus on creating strategic value. Nordea’s senior business leaders will take on sponsorship roles to support the companies.

“We come into this from a position of strength: we have the size, capacity, financial muscle and expertise to take advantage of opportunities to deliver more value to our customers,” says Casper. “As the biggest financial institution in the Nordic region, we have both the opportunity and the obligation to really drive the change into the new world of banking.”

Fact box

Partnership is at the core of our banking philosophy. Nordea has already invested in and is partnering with start-ups in the fintech space in line with our strategy of becoming a truly agile, digital bank. Nordea Ventures is a natural next step.
 
We have, for example, already invested in and are partnering with fintech company Tink, a financial aggregator that’s based in Sweden. The Tink solution will improve the mobile banking experience for our customers, making daily banking easier and more convenient. Another example is our recently announced investment in Swedish fintech company Betalo, which you can read about here
 
We’re also partnering with fintech hubs in Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo and Copenhagen.
 
In addition, Nordea was the first bank in the Nordic region to launch an open banking developer portal, where fintechs and other external developers are invited to help us create new products and services for our customers at a faster pace than we could do this by ourselves. More than 700 have signed up so far and we have begun piloting.

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