Looking ahead to NextGen Nordics: Q&A with P27 CEO Lars Sjögren

P27 CEO Lars Sjögren offers his thoughts on challenges facing the payments industry ahead of the upcoming NextGen Nordics webinar.

On April 15th, 2021, P27 together with FinExtra will hold the latest webinar in their ongoing NextGen Nordics series of talks.

After an eventful 2020, which entailed several activities to prepare P27 and the Nordic payments markets to go live, the company remains focused on building a robust and resilient payment platform to facilitate instant and batch domestic and cross-border payments across the Nordics.

At the same time, other initiatives have cropped up with the aim of harmonising cross-border mobile and digital payments across Europe and elsewhere. Regulators are also trying to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation, and questions remain about the development of other commercially viable payments services.

As the payments industry grapples the potential challenges and opportunities of ongoing shifts in the industry, P27 CEO Lars Sjögren provides some insights as he prepares for his appearance at the next NextGen Nordics webinar on April 15th.

What are some of the most pressing challenges facing the payments industry and P27?

When it comes to P27, we continue to work closely with regulators in each of the Nordic countries – including central banks and FSAs – to ensure we have everything in place well before P27 processes its first transactions. Many of the regulatory requirements are planned to be solved by the P27 initiative, but the starting point is always meeting the needs of the customer. The path forward and progress looks slightly different in each country, but things are moving forward.

Looking more broadly to the industry as a whole, I think we are all focused on the European Retail Payments Strategy and other regulations emerging from Brussels designed to promote a more diverse, competitive, and less fragmented payments market. In addition, PSD2 is, among other things, for renewal later this year, which will likely also have repercussions across the industry.

How can P27 facilitate the development of other payments services?

The most important thing we can do is build a single Nordic clearing platform that serves as a robust and resilient payments platform for the entire region, and we are well on our way to reaching that goal. But discussions about other payments services are perhaps more exciting because that’s when the discussion moves from talking only about payment rails to figuring out what will travel on them. By working together with participating banks, P27 hopes to play a constructive role in deciding what these standardized solutions might look like and then supporting those banks that opt-in to develop those solutions. And within bill payments we are already far along in the design.  

What do you hope people take away from this instalment of NextGen Nordics?

Having a deputy central bank governor and a former FSA director together in the same panel offers an exciting combination of perspectives on payments’ changing regulatory landscape. I hope those who tune in for the webinar leave with a better understanding of the relationship between a resilient and robust payments infrastructure that paves the way for innovation and efficiency, regulatory processes in the Nordics and at a European level, as well as the role of the industry itself.

I also hope people will come away with a better picture of what the future of payments will look like – and how it will be easier to standardize and harmonize payment products in the Nordics, reduce costs, and increase efficiency and security.

Also important is providing a better understanding of the complexity of what P27 is undertaking, and that it has to be done in close dialogue with banks and regulators. We are building what amounts to a new piece of critical infrastructure that needs to meet – or exceed – expectations when it comes to security, resilience, and reliability.

Register for the April 15 NextGen Nordics webinar

NOTE: The official launch of P27 services is subject to regulatory approvals and therefore P27 will not conduct any business activities until required regulatory approvals are obtained.