This week in fintech

By Hauken from Stacc

Are Norwegian banks incompetent or saboteurs?



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This week in fintech

November 23 · Issue #37 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

Also: 🏠 Sensitive mortgage 📱 Big tech - large changes 📸 Will COVID make QR code payments go mainstream? 🤦‍♂️ Everything is becoming stories

🏦 Are Norwegian banks incompetent or saboteurs?
This week we got more opinions on the PSD2 discussion going on in Norway: First, Lars Erik Fjørtoft in PwC commented that it’s a bad idea for Horde to complain about the PSD2 support of the banks in Norway. They should instead cooperate more with the banks and start a dugnad. Horde then replied that the banks don’t have any incentives to cooperate, and Neonomics followed up by stating that the Financial supervisory Authority and Competition Authority need to do something
Today the Financial editor of Dagens Næringsliv, Terje Erikstad, summed the discussion up rather nicely: There are two possible explanations for why the banks do not provide the data as they are required to. None of them puts Norwegian banks in a good light. One reason is that the banks are incompetent, which is rather far fetched. The second explanation is that banks do not have incentives to let competitors into their customer base. «That is an understandable, but not acceptable, attitude.»
PSD2 is not the only victim of banks’ priorities. Last week NRK published a comment called “The bank bluff,” shedding light on the fact that changing banks in Norway is annoying, frustrating, and meaninglessly complicated. You would think that it could be a competitive advantage to switch to a bank and fast onboard new users easily? It should be doable when we already have infrastructures like BankId and eFaktura/AvtaleGiro that makes identification and regular payments already available. (Contact us if you want to do a fast Proof of Concept on this 😉) 
🏠 Sensitive mortgage
This week The financial supervisory authority of Norway launched their yearly mortgage survey. The report shows that a large and increasing proportion of new mortgages are taken out by borrowers with high total debt in relation to income. 
In an interview with FinansWatch last week, the CEO of Sbanken, Øyvind Thomassen, stated that the bank now instead targets customers who have a greater need for loans and a higher loan-to-value ratio, rather than customers who are chasing the lowest interest rates. The Norwegian Competition Authority states that this is competition sensitive info and reprimands Sbanken for this comment. I wonder where this line goes when you’re a public traded company. 
📱 Big tech - large changes
The biggest news regarding Fintech last week was Google Pay’s massive relaunch. It turns the app from something that most people think of as a tap-to-pay card repository or peer-to-peer payment system into a much more ambitious service. We’re talking about personal finance aggregation, customizable deals, and even full banking services, making it an exciting competitor to traditional banks down the line. The Verge has done a deep dive into the new features.
Image: Google
Image: Google
On their side last week, Apple quietly launched a web-based portal to take applications for its credit card, the Apple Card. This probably happened because Apple has hit the wall on iPhone owner applications and has to do something to pump up the Apple card.
📸 Will COVID make QR code payments go mainstream?
McKinsey last week launched their 2020 Global Payments Report. It isn’t a surprise that the COVID-19 crisis has a significant and widespread effect on global payments across sectors. When it comes to payments, they state that it’s been «a half-decade of change in a few months.» 
The Venture Capital company Andreessen Horowitz speculates that COVID could make QR code payments go mainstream. They are particularly commonplace in China but hasn’t taken off in the western world, even though they have grown by 11 percent over the last year. More actors like PayPal and UberEats are applying it, so we could see more adaptation in the western world soon. In Norway, Vipps have started using their QR-code solution with varying degrees of success.
Today I learned to pay with Vipps at Rema. It took a while, but the 8 in the queue behind me had also learned it when I finished. That was probably why they clapped when I left.
Today I learned to pay with Vipps at Rema. It took a while, but the 8 in the queue behind me had also learned it when I finished. That was probably why they clapped when I left.
🤦‍♂️ Everything is becoming stories
Last week Twitter launched stories, becoming the latest social plattform to add this feature. Charley Ma’s tweet inspired me to add stories to a bunch of my favorite banking apps. 😆 Which will be the first one out?
DNB, Sbanken, Kron, Bulder, Vipps and Coinbase with stories.
DNB, Sbanken, Kron, Bulder, Vipps and Coinbase with stories.
🙏 Please don't keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X 
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