A consortium of 106 Norwegian banks are taking over Vipps, the mobile payments service DNB Group launched that supports person-to-person, mobile, online and in-store payments across Norway.
The move will unify the various mobile wallet concepts launched in recent years by many of Norway's smaller banks, DNB said in a Feb. 13 press release, citing the leaders of several of the banks participating in the cooperative venture.
“Several market participants (have been) competing to launch their own mobile payment solutions and a lot of people find this confusing, whether they are making payments or on the receiving end,” said Finn Haugan, CEO of SpareBank 1, in the release. SpareBank 1 has recently experienced strong growth with mCASH, its proprietary mobile payments initiative, Haugan noted.
SpareBank 1 and other local banks have agreed to migrate their separate initiatives into a single, interoperable mobile wallet for the convenience of all Norwegian bank customers and merchants, according to the release. Participating banks will invite their customers to join Vipps, which has broad local brand recognition, and each bank will retain a representative ownership in the concept.
DNB will retain the majority ownership of Vipps, with 52% of shares; SpareBank 1 will control 25%; a group of 15 independent savings banks will collectively own 12%; Eika will own 10% and Sparebanken Møre will own the remaining 1%, DNB said in the release.
Vipps has about 2.2 million users—nearly half of Norway’s 5.2 million residents—and processes over 200,000 transactions daily with 30,000 participating businesses.