More than 100 banks join forces over Vipps

Payments just got simpler. More than 100 Norwegian banks have teamed up with DNB as owners of Vipps. Together they will ensure that Vipps delivers the simplest and most innovative payment services to Norwegian private individuals and companies. 

13 February 2017

"Vipps has become the champion of person-to-person payments and, in a short amount of time, has rolled out mobile, online and in-store payment solutions. Over the course of 2017, Vipps will be available in far more places than we have seen up until now. This alliance will make us better equipped to win the race against Nordic and international market participants," says Rune Bjerke, group chief executive of DNB and incoming chairman of the board of Vipps.

DNB, the SpareBank 1 alliance, the Eika alliance, Sparebanken Møre and the 15 independent savings banks which also are co-owners of Frende Forsikring have signed a letter of intent, which entails that they together will develop Vipps to become the mobile wallet for the whole of Norway. The initiators represent a total of 106 Norwegian banks.

Up until now, Vipps has been part of the DNB Group, but it will now be an autonomous company with DNB as the largest owner with approximately 52 per cent of the shares. The SpareBank 1 alliance will own 25 per cent, the independent savings banks 12 per cent, the Eika alliance 10 per cent and Sparebanken Møre 1 per cent.

"Several market participants are competing to launch their own mobile payment solutions. A lot of people find this confusing, whether they are making payments or on the receiving end. Even though we have taken a firm market position in a short amount of time through our mCASH initiative, many of our customers have expressed a preference for one solution: a single strong and distinct provider. This is why Norwegian banks now join forces to create one single mobile wallet for all Norwegian bank customers,” says Finn Haugan, CEO of SpareBank 1 SMN, on behalf of the SpareBank 1 alliance.

"We want to build a strong Norwegian fintech market participant, which manages to develop and deliver simple and secure services at the lowest possible cost. We will develop expertise and technology in one company, and this will represent a big advantage for all bank customers across the country," says Geir Bergskaug, managing director of Sparebanken Sør, which represents the 15 15 independent savings banks which also are co-owners of Frende.

"The Vipps alliance will provide customers of the local banks with simple and future-oriented payment services. The partnership has a central position in Eika’s strategy for swift and cost-effective innovation and development. I am therefore very happy to be standing together to further develop Vipps as the leading mobile wallet in the Norwegian market,” says Hege Toft Karlsen, CEO of Eika Gruppen. 

«Products and services are developed at an increasingly quicker rate. The winner will be the one who best succeeds at making things easier for the customer. The new company will be strong on know-how and innovation power, and we look forward to offering our customers simple, secure and exciting payment solutions», says Olav Arne Fiskerstrand, managing director of Sparebanken Møre.

Payment solutions that up to now have been jointly developed by the other banks will also be included in Vipps. SpareBank 1 will transfer its mobile payment solution mCASH, which delivers mainly of the same services as Vipps. All mCASH customers will be invited to transfer over to Vipps.

Rune Garborg, group executive vice president and head of Vipps and Payments in DNB, is appointed as head of Vipps. Elisabeth Haug, managing director of SpareBank 1 Mobile Payments, is appointed as deputy managing director. 

The agreement is subject to the approval from Norwegian supervisory authorities. 

Key facts about Vipps - Norway’s most popular payment app:

  • Vipps has more than 2.15
    million users who carry out 204 000 transactions daily.
  • More than 30 000 companies, clubs and associations have so far adopted the service.
  • During 2016, Vipps also launched e-commerce, Vipps for Companies and Vipps Invoice.

Key facts about the owners:    

  • The SpareBank 1 Alliance consists of 16 independent banks which together represent Norway’s second largest financial institution. 
  • 15 independent savings banks with a total of more than 900 000 personal customers. The 15 banks are also part-owners of Frende Forsikring (insurance company).
  • The Eika Alliance consists of 73 local banks, Eika Gruppen and Eika Boligkreditt. The Eika Alliance has approximately 1 million personal customers and 210 branch offices.
  • Sparebanken Møre is the leading financial house in the county of Møre og Romsdal.
  • DNB is Norway’s largest and one of the Nordic region’s largest financial services group with 2.1 million personal customers in Norway.