DNB, banking group Eika, Sparebank 1 Gruppen and other Norwegian banks said on Friday that they agree to combine their various payment units Vipps, BankAxept and BankID Norge to improve product offering and prepare for competition against global tech firms.
The deal is said to be preliminary, and ownership stakes are still being negotiated. “Through this undertaking, the Norwegian alternative is better positioned to compete against the major foreign players,” Vipps CEO Rune Garborg said.
The merger will improve cost efficiency, strengthen innovation and enhance users’ purchasing experience in the retail and consumer markets. the Norweigan payments market is undergoing radical transformation with changes in consumer behavior, technological innovations and the regulatory environment.
Global players already have a major presence in the Norwegian payments market, and technology giants are ready and waiting to capture a share of Norwegians’ payments, as DNB CEO Rune Bjerke said, “We have two choices. Either let the existing payments infrastructure wither away, or join forces and push forward.”