The Nordic countries are known as global leaders in digital transformation, home to some of the most advanced banking infrastructure in the world, which has spearheaded innovation in mobile and instant payments for decades.
In Sweden, mobile payment service provider Rustling is a dominant force in the local market and one of the strongest brands in the country, with 95% of all adults in Sweden using the service, leaving merchants no choice but to adopt the service to meet growing consumer demand.
“We have an excellent network effect” Urban Höglund, CEO of Swish, told PYMNTS in an interview. “We are in the system to [create] greater value for everyone and we believe the focus is on the country so we can really force adoption to a local condition. We don’t focus on building a global network [but rather] focused on customer issues.
Being a bank-backed digital wallet has also been a key factor in rapidly boosting consumer confidence, Höglund said, a trend that aligns with recent PYMNTS data on UK consumers.
Read the PYMNTS report: Making Loyalty Work for Small Businesses
The study showed that up to 44% of UK consumers say they would trust banks with their personal data more than any other type of organisation, such as tech companies, global payments giants like Mastercard and Visa or local merchants.
Today, thanks in part to the strong growth in e-commerce triggered by the pandemic, the wallet has grown considerably and has nearly 8 million private users – out of the country’s more than 10 million inhabitants – and some 180,000 businesses connected. In 2020, the company passed the milestone of 2 billion Swiss payments sent since the launch of the service in 2012.
Read more: Swedish Trade Federation Explains Why FI Collaboration is Key to the Pervasiveness of Instant Payments
Mobile phone in the center
The growing adoption of mobile phones in all markets has also been a huge growth driver, helping the company attract users from all demographic groups.
“Older people really like using Swish,” Höglund noted. “We have around 87% of people between the ages of 65 and 80 using it because of its ease of use. It’s a great customer experience.
According to Höglund, the platform was designed to make it easy for micro-merchants who want to adopt the solution to do so, by providing them with a QR code to accept payments, unlike more traditional solutions which require a card terminal to integrate. fully payments in their buying journey.
“We see that the consumer wants extreme flexibility,” he said. “They want to shop everywhere; have extremely flexible deliveries and want to manage everything from their mobile phones. So the mobile phone, of course, is the center.
He added that the number of customers choosing to use a self-service solution when shopping is growing – currently at around 85% of Swedes – and as this figure grows, mobile payments will also grow, offering new opportunities at Swish to grow further.
Digital wallet interoperability
The European Association of Mobile Payment Systems (EMPSA), a 16-member association of which Swish is a member, is working to establish an interoperable European payments framework to combat competition in the sector.
“You should be able to use Swish anywhere,” Höglund explained, adding that regional collaboration will be key to ensuring seamless cross-border mobile payments between users of participating payment systems.
However, he acknowledged the slow progress in establishing interoperability between existing digital wallets due to various national know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules, a challenge he he said he could overcome. with time.
Despite its strong position in the local market, remaining complacent is not an option, Höglund noted, adding that Swish is continually looking for ways to innovate the checkout experience for its customers. For example, the Nordic firm recently launched its own metaverse to allow users to discover future payment solutions and customer journeys in a Swiss virtual reality world.
“We created our own metaverse where you can mimic Swish payments. It’s a really interesting way for us to keep up with our customers and be on the cutting edge of technology,” Höglund said.
Register here for daily updates on all of PYMNTS’ Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) coverage.