Scandinavian mobile wallets MobilePay, Pivo, and Vipps to merge

Scandinavian mobile wallets MobilePay, Pivo, and Vipps are set to merge, in a move intended to challenge the dominance of BigTech’s mobile wallets in the region.

MobilePay is Danish and developed by Danske Bank, Vipps is Norwegian and controlled by DNB ASA, while Pivo is Finnish and controlled by OP Financial Group.

These wallets are the dominant way for consumers to transfer money in their respective countries, and Vipps is used as a verb for sending money Norway.

The new company, headquartered in Oslo, will have 11 million customers and more than 700 million annual transactions.

It will be regulated by the Norwegian financial authorities, and Norway’s Vipps will own a 65 per cent majority stake in the new company, while Danske Bank will own 25 per cent, and OP Financial Group will own 10 per cent.

No layoffs are expected because of the merger, and the new company is set to employ over 500 staff across Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Lithuania.

Vipps' current chief executive, Rune Garborg, will take the position of chief executive of the new company.

Chief executive of MobilePay Claus Bunkenborg will become an executive board member of the merged company, while Vipps' chair and DNB chief executive Jerstin Braathen will act as chairman of the board of directors.

The competition authorities are expected to approve the deal later this year or early next year, and if approved by regulators, Danske Bank will receive between $64 million to $80 million.

Scandinavia is one of the most cashless regions on the planet. Norway is the most cashless society in Europe, with the lowest number of cash machines per 100,000 adults - 31.58 – and with 83 per cent of the population aged over 15 owning a credit card, according the WorldBank.

“Competition within payments is global, not local, and we need an even stronger footprint to compete with international players,” said Rune Garborg, chief executive of Vipps. “By combining three of the best-loved brands in the Nordics, and building an even stronger technology platform, we can create world-class payment simplification for all.”

“It is very expensive to compete with global competitors in this space and in order to continue to develop the most attractive solutions for our customers, MobilePay must be part of something bigger to gain scale and pool investments for further innovation,” said Glenn Soderholm, head of personal and business customers at Danske Bank.

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