Sweden’s Swish uses Nets' contactless tech for brick and mortar play

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Swish is expanding to physical stores to extend usage among the millions of Swedes who use the app for account-to-account transfers.

The app will enable in-store payments with a Bluetooth module developed by Nets that provides an NFC-like “tap and pay” payment experience. The in-store payment capability also enables the creation of better loyalty programs because it creates the possibility for merchants to add real-time, geo-tagged shopping offers.

The pilot program is being conducted at two restaurants owned by one of Sweden’s corporate cafeterias. The test will expand to include additional merchants after the summer.

"Seven million Swedes walk around with the Swish app in their pocket, and it’s clear that the demand for easier in-store payments is increasing,” Pär Ekroth, marketing manager at Swish, said in a press release.

Swish was originally created for real-time account-to-account transfers, but added the ability to conduct e-commerce transactions in 2016. By adding the possibility to conduct in-store point of sale transactions, the war on cash in Sweden has picked up steam.

The cashless wave has been building significant speed in the Nordic countries with an explosion in popularity of bank-connected apps such as Swish in Sweden, Vipps in Norway and MobilePay in Denmark. Apple Pay launched in Denmark, Sweden and Finland in 2017 to ride on the success of cashless payments.

"The payment experience is similar to making a contactless payment, which consumers are accustomed to — particularly in countries like Sweden with high digital penetration," Jan Lundequist, senior vice president of Nets' Merchant Services, said in the press release.

The Norway-based Nets in 2018 introduced a service with fintech partner Mash to provide instant financing at the point of sale in Finland and Sweden.

The deployment comes in anticipation of P27 project which is Nordic network that will make it possible to clear payments and settle accounts within seconds. The P27 project is named for the 27 million who live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

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