Payments in the Nordics: ‘the sky’s the limit’ with P27

As P27 hopes to change payments in the Nordics through the potential launch of the world’s first platform for real-time, cross-border payments, the company continues to draw on its own “Nordic roots” for inspiration.

“The Nordic region is built on the idea that it pays to work together,” explains P27 CEO Lars Sjögren.

And it’s that spirit of cross-border cooperation that has helped propel P27 and the Nordics to the forefront of payments market innovation.

Banks’ willingness to work together

Started by six Nordic banks in 2019, P27 may seem like a young company. But it’s foundation rests on decades of joint work among Nordic banks and financial institutions.

For example, Swedish banks got together sixty years ago and created what became the Bankgirot payment system. Similar systems later emerged in Denmark and Norway, thanks largely to banks’ willingness to work together.

Sjögren thus sees P27 is a logical extension of that spirit of working together.

“It’s no accident that P27 emerged in the Nordics,” he says.

A platform for working together

Building on existing joint work in the Nordic financial sector, P27 is currently on track to build and potentially launch a secure and versatile platform that will enable real-time, batch, domestic and cross-border payments during 2021.

“P27 is a potential platform for working together across national borders – something we already do a lot of in the Nordics,” he says.

“In the Nordics, we have a lot in common and think there is a lot to gain by removing payments barriers.”

Combined, the Nordic economies are the world’s 12th largest economy. And intra-Nordic trade accounts for roughly one-fifth of Nordic countries’ overall trade on average.

“This is a great home market for companies to grow,” adds Sjögren.

“We’re aiming to build a payments infrastructure that could become a new and improved circulatory system for the entire Nordic economy.”

Strengthening joint work on payments in the Nordics

Sjögren believes the Nordics provide the optimal conditions and a compelling reason for building something like P27.

“We believe strongly that by leveraging this unique Nordic tradition to facilitate cross-border transactions, P27 could potentially help strengthen joint work within the Nordics – and the region’s economies – even further,” he says.

While P27’s current focus is planning the building of a platform to serve the Nordic region specifically, Sjögren hopes P27 could eventually become the payments global standard-bearer.

“There are other examples of Nordic fintech innovations like Klarna and iZettle that went on to succeed globally,” he explains.

“And if you ask me, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how far our potential customers can go with P27.”

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.