Open Banking in the Nordics: Adoption, Connectivity & Market Outlook

Explore the Nordics' open banking success, led by digital innovations and collaborations. See how Sweden heads towards cashlessness, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland excel in digital finance, and how Yapily’s API enables seamless banking connections.

The Nordics—comprising Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland—have carved out a niche as leaders in the financial technology space, particularly in open banking. Known for their advanced digital infrastructure, high levels of digital literacy, and cooperative government policies, these countries have created a fertile ground for the adoption and growth of open banking. The region’s proactive approach to digital transformation and financial innovation has positioned it as a model for the rest of Europe and the world.

Open banking adoption in Nordics

Rune Mai, former CEO of Aiia (recently acquired by Mastercard), commented back in 2020 on open banking adoption in the Nordics, “The Nordics have adapted to open banking quickly and this can be attributed to a number of things; the region is already digitally advanced, there’s a real desire from the banks to be open in order for progress to be made, and unlike many parts of Europe, the Nordics very much take a collaborative and thorough approach, which all contribute to creating the perfect environment for open banking innovation.”

This was proven in the same year when it was found that in less than six months since the deadline of the PSD2, 53% of the Nordics’ fintech decision makers had developed new products and services. 83% of them also recognised the positive opportunity this would have for businesses.

Challenges however lay in the lack of resources and incorporating them into their current offering.

So what has the journey been like for the different countries in this region?

Open banking adoption in Sweden

Ranking third in our 2022 European Open Banking League Table, Sweden boasts a highly developed digital infrastructure and a culture of innovation in payments. The country is on track to become the world’s first cashless society. The success of mobile payment solutions like Swish, which enjoys widespread use among Swedish citizens, underscores the country’s readiness for open banking and finance. With more than 8.9 million Swedish citizens, and 303,500 business accounts, using Swish, as of May 2023, they are poised for using open banking.

Open banking adoption in Denmark

Denmark’s ascension to the seventh spot in the 2022 open banking league table is a testament to its robust mobile banking landscape. The Danish government and financial institutions’ collaborative efforts, such as the establishment of digital signatures early on, have laid a solid foundation for open banking services. This supports open banking solution providers like Yapily with strong API connections to Nordic banks.

Open banking adoption in Finland

Positioned twelfth, Finland’s journey in open banking is marked by the early adoption of digital payment methods and a commitment to digital transformation, as evidenced by its participation in the Nordic Vision 2030 partnership aimed at digitisation and responsible data use.

Open banking adoption in Norway

Norway’s ranked fourteenth in the 2022 league table reflects its innovative approach to banking and payments, including being home to the first euro-area central bank to open its payment system to non-bank financial services providers. The introduction of digital identification solutions like BankID has bolstered consumer confidence in digital financial services.

Open banking adoption in Iceland

Although Iceland ranks eighteenth, its small but technologically advanced economy is poised for rapid growth in open banking. The country’s digital-first approach and high internet penetration rates provide an ideal environment for the adoption of open financial services.

Yapily’s Nordic Open Banking Coverage

Our open banking platform went live in the Nordics in December 2021, and we now support 97 banks and financial institutions across the region.

Explore the list of available institutions via Yapily’s open banking platform.

Future adoption of open banking in Nordics

The Nordics have proven to take a proactive approach to digital finance, with pioneering efforts in digital transformation. However there are evidently some challenges ahead.

An example is the P27 initiative that reflected the broader regional goal of fostering an integrated financial ecosystem. It was announced in April 2023 that it had been withdrawn. P27 CEO Paula da Silva stated: “Our vision was to provide a better payments infrastructure to the 27 million people living in the Nordics, with an optimistic timeline. Lately, it is evident that our vision was too ambitious and complex. Hence, we need to reassess our future ambition in the Nordic payments market.”

Sweden however seems to be making conscious efforts to lead a positive charge. In February of 2024, Sweden joined the Eurosystem TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS). This enabled PSPs to settle instant payments in central bank money with the euro and Swedish krona. We may likely see the remaining Nordic countries follow suit.

Central to the Nordics’ successful adoption of open banking is the region’s early investment in digital infrastructure, coupled with a strong tradition of collaboration between government bodies, financial institutions, and the technology sector. Such collaborative efforts have not only facilitated the development of cutting-edge financial applications, offering services like instant payments and streamlined customer onboarding but have also set the stage for addressing the challenges that lie ahead, including achieving widespread market adoption and establishing a consistent API standard across the region.

The collaborative models and regulatory frameworks that have underpinned the Nordics’ approach to open banking are critical for the successful expansion of open finance.

As the region moves forward, the continued partnership between governments, banks, and fintech companies will be crucial in navigating the complexities of this evolving landscape, ensuring that the Nordic region remains a global leader in the field of digital finance.

Our powerful API connecting across the Nordics

Whether you’re looking to enhance your financial services, streamline operations, or unlock new opportunities for growth, Yapily provides the tools and expertise necessary to succeed. Connect across Nordic banks and financial institutions when you use Yapily for end-to-end open banking solutions.

Speak to our open banking experts to explore our platform and discover how we can help your business connect to the Nordics.


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