Delivering real-time, multicurrency multi-country payments in four Nordic currencies
Project 27 (known as P27) aims to establish a single pan-Nordic payment infrastructure for the 27 million inhabitants of the region. The new payments infrastructure will be a world’s first and create the foundation for multiple initiatives and innovations in the Nordics.
P27 will enable real-time, batch, domestic and cross-border payments to be carried out quickly on a secure and versatile platform. The platform will initially allow payments to flow instantly between people and businesses within the countries of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Norway is not part of current scope but the banking community is showing an increasing interest to join P27.
P27 aims to replace a currently fragmented clearing landscape with a new infrastructure that brings simplicity and scale efficiencies, harmonisation and standardisation of payments, instant capabilities, modular functionality, increased transparency and a resilient design able to implement robust security measures.
Standardising payments across the Nordics
At Nordea, we want to support this initiative in order to simplify the Nordic payment landscape, introduce new and standardised payment types compared to existing domestic clearing.
P27’s mission is to make payments more efficient in the Nordic currencies and the Euro with a payment infrastructure for domestic and cross-border payments. An open-access and common infrastructure will bring further harmonisation to the European payments landscape.
Efficient means of payments are crucial for the integration of financial services as well as the economy as a whole. By developing common Nordic standards for payments, P27 will provide tangible benefits for the Nordic societies like increased trade, growth, and employment as well as improved foundation for innovation.
One of the key principles in P27 is to harmonise and standardise payments. Thus, P27 is built on ISO20022 format with the Nordic Payments Council (NPC) managing the Nordic payment schemes. The NPC is a non-profit member association combining four Nordic bankers’ associations, banks and payment institutions covered by the PSD2 directive.
A Nordic collaboration
P27 operational company was initiated in 2018 and is a joint venture between by Nordea, Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, OP Financial Group, SEB, and Swedbank . P27’s vision is to break down barriers for trade and financial interaction between the Nordic countries.
The operational company, P27 Nordic Payments Platform AB, has been set up with offices in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki. As a Swedish company, P27 NPP has applied for a clearing license from Finansinspektionen, the Financial Supervisory Authority.
“P27 will be a true cross-country payments solution within the Nordics. Banks and financial services providers are already preparing for this change. It will be a very important step towards the real-time treasury” - Tino Kam, Head of Transaction Banking Product Management at Nordea.
What actions do you need to take?
The ambition with the new payment infrastructure is to create a common and future-proof infrastructure in the Nordic region that makes it easier to send and receive payments. Initially, this does not mean any major changes for private customers as Bankgiro, Plusgiro, salary payments, pensions and grants and Swish work unchanged. Corporate customers with file communication will notice changes such as e.g. new file formats and improved downtime. The standard in the new infrastructure is ISO20022 XML. Nordea will inform you about any necessary changes.
The first payments to be migrated to and processed via the P27 Clearing system will be Nordea Sweden’s payments in SEK already in Q1 2022. The full journey will however continue a few more years.