Sweden completes Phase 2 CBDC trials


Ahead of our NextGen Nordics conference on 27 April 2022, we will be putting together a weekly briefing of all the top stories that are emerging out of the region and setting the blueprint for payments innovation across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

NextGen Nordics will bring together multiple stakeholders – the banking community, central banks, public authorities and trade and business beneficiaries – to generate community discussion, explore the benefits and offer practical advice on activating the opportunities of new technologies in the Nordic region. Register for the event here.

Riksbank completes Phase 2 e-krona trials

Sweden’s Riksbank has announced the completion of the Phase 2 technical trials for its CBDC after starting the project in the spring of 2017. During Phase 2, issues such as offline function, performance, and integration with external participants are examined and conclusions from this phase will be published in 2022.

Mithra Sundberg, head of the e-krona division at Riksbank, said: “In Phase 3 we will begin to formulate a basis for the requirements for an e-krona if a decision is made to issue it. All the tests, analyses and investigations carried out will form a base for this work. We will also draw on experience from the rapid international development that is now taking place in this field.”

Although Phase 2 is complete, the central bank reports it will conduct other technical tests to learn more and have therefore extended their contract with Accenture until February 2022.

Danish BNPL player ViaBill raises $120 million in equity and debt

Danish buy now pay later (BNPL) company ViaBill announced raising a $120m equity and debt in a round led by London-based Fasanara Capital. ViaBill, which is backed by international venture capital Headline and Blackfin, can be used online,in-store and is currently available in Denmark, Spain, and the USA.

Jan Lytje-Hansen, CEO and co-founder of ViaBill said: “While other large Buy Now Pay Later players like Klarna, AfterPay, and Affirm have successfully infiltrated the online payment space, there’s a lack of BNPL solutions that support brick and mortar shops.”

Lytje-Hansen continued: “It’ll be interesting to see if offline BNPL will disrupt the payment mechanisms as rapidly as we’ve seen in the online space.”

Qred expands to Norway

Swedish company Qred has expanded into Norway. The company, which has already expanded into Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, provides a number of financing solutions for small businesses. Qred will also act as the financial agent to Nordiska Financial Partner AS.

Emil Sunvisson, CEO at Qred commented: “The big banks have for far too long failed to serve small businesses in Norway. As we’ve seen time and time again, small business owners have no, or very few options when it comes to financing to help grow their business.”

Verifone and ReceiptHero partnership expands across Nordics

Finnish company ReceiptHero and Verifone have announced a further expansion of their partnership across the Nordic market, now providing services in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Chris Moore, COO ReceiptHero said: “By partnering with ReceiptHero, Verifone aims to drive digital receipts into further adoption across the Nordics and hopes the impact of eliminating paper receipts can deliver increased customer experience.”

Surfboard Payments introduces payments app

Swedish company Surfboard Payments introduced their tap-to-pay payments app Surfapp at a pre-launch event this week and will launch by spring 2022.

Additionally, Surfboard Payments announced their acceptance as a participating organisation in the PCI Security Standards Council.

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