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Preferred Payment Methods in Nordics

Main card schemes and alternative payment methods in Nordics

Read below about payment methods And how to increase conversion by offering the most convenient online payment methods when selling goods online in Nordics


Preferred payment methods in the Nordic countries

This overview was first published in ‘eCommerce Insights and Trends Snapshot: Nordics’, an eBook produced in association with our partner ACI Worldwide – and based on data from ACI Worldwide. Download your free copy of the eBook below to gain access to a comprehensive analysis of the insights that matter most when measuring the size and type of opportunities in the ecommerce market in the Nordic countries.

Generally speaking, account-to-account payments, together with credit and debit cards, represent the preferred payment methods among Nordic online shoppers, according to Global Data. It’s noteworthy, however, that in Sweden, it is common practice to pay for a product after receiving the invoice, whereas in Finland, in recent years, online banking and implicitly bank transfers gained a lot of ground, taking up 28.1% of the payment methods breakdown in the country in 2021.

Recently, mobile applications, often provided by local banking partnerships, have gained ground, and it is likely that this type of payment will continue to grow in the future. The most popular payment app in Sweden is Swish, launched in 2012 by Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Länsförsäkringar, Nordea, SEB, and Swedbank & Sparbankerna. The service has registered a steady growth, and today, an average of around 75 million payments are made every month via Swish (half of which are made to or from companies). The preferred payment app in Denmark is MobilePay, launched in 2013 by Danske Bank. Initially, users were able to transfer DKK 1,000 (approximately EUR 134) a day to each other, and by 2017 the app already reached the ‘1-million transactions in one day’ milestone. In December 2013, MobilePay was also launched in Finland, where it is also the preferred mobile app for payments. The most common payment app in Norway is Vipps, launched by the Norwegian bank DNB in 2015.

However, in 2021, Danske Bank A/S has entered into an agreement with OP Financial Group in Finland and the consortium of banks behind Vipps in Norway to merge the three mobile payment providers MobilePay, Vipps, and Pivo. The ambition is to create a more comprehensive digital wallet, and the newly formed company is expected to become one of the largest bank-owned mobile payment providers in Europe.

It is worth mentioning that in Sweden, Riksbank has successfully completed the first phase of the migration to TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), a pan-European service for settling electronic payments instantly. At the same time, Riksbank also launched a service for instant payments, RIX-INST, expected to streamline payments between banks. Moreover, in 2021, the EU Commission has approved P27 Nordic Payments’ merger to establish its pan-Nordic payments platform, a major milestone in creating a common payments infrastructure for the Nordic region. The P27 platform will enable domestic and cross-border payments in real time, in batches, and in multiple currencies.