Visa invests in Klarna Bank

Visa to buy a stake in Swedish payment company Klarna Bank for an undisclosed sum. This is probably part of the new emission of 500 MSEK that was needed to finance the buying of German Billpay for 650 MSEK earlier this year. Visa has recently invested in iZettle competitor Square, Stripe and LoopPay.

Klarna received a banking license on June 19 and will now start offer banking products, where first two will be cards payments (I bet now with a Visa logo on) and saving accounts.

Klarna was from start a challenger to card payments and this move seems to be a change in strategy. Could also be that paying Klarna debts via a card account is a better alternative for some markets, though US & UK consumers for example “are not as good” as consumers in Nordics and Germany in paying invoice bills.

Read more here.

Klarna new logo

Picture: Klarna Bank new logo?

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1 – 0 Apple Pay vs Australian banks

Apple won the “battle” against the Australian banks trying to get use of the Apple NFC for use in their own wallets. The now disappointed banks says that they now individually will seek how to work with mobile payments & mobile wallet.

Read more here.

My guess is that the banks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank now will launch Samsung Pay and Android Pay when avaiable in Australia. They will probably also look into using BLE and/or QR if they want eventual own wallets to support iPhones…or just launch their own alternatives on Android for start.

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57 new banks in 7 years (UK only) – nothing wrong?

Interesting post from the Chris Skinner’s blog. Read full post here.

First new bank in UK in decades opened 7 years ago, Metro Bank. Now 57 (!) new are in process having or trying to get a banking licence. This post discuss positives and negatives and what hurdles besides financing and staffing these challenging banks are in to.

Biggest challenge I think is trust and in the long run, the game of gain and keep of customers. These new “digital only banks” will also meet fierce competition when all traditional is going more and more digital and they are (often) well financed and they have customers.

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Rumors pre MWC 2017

Next week it’s time again for the world’s largest mobile fair, Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Over 100,000 visitors a will walk around in the eight halls, where over 2000 exhibitors will  present their products and services. “Hot” this year in addition to the traditional releases of new mobiles, are IoT (Internet of Things), AI & VR (Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality) and robotics.

Below is a summary of rumors and releases of new mobile phones “pre-show”:

  • Apple and as usual, will not exhibit or launch. We will have to wait for the iPhone 8, expected to have a “radical” redesign, until after the summer. Before that we will probably see a 7S launch.
  • Samsung will launch multiple products including a new tablet and products around VR. Samsung Galaxy 8 will probably come out in April.
  • Huawei. New P10 will be launched and will be the “star of the show”?
  • LG. Launch of G6.
  • HTC. HTC 11 maybe launched.
  • Sony. Xperia X2, XZ 2 plus more.
  • Moto (formerly Motorola, now Lenovo). Launches of Moto G5 and perhaps Moto G5 Plus and Moto G5 Plus.
  • Nokia (back agian! now owned by Global HMD). Retro launch of one of the world’s best-selling phones, Nokia 3310 :-), Nokia 6  an Android mobile for the Chinese market and the “world’s largest” tablet sized 18.3″ .
  • Blackberry (and still alive) will introduce Mercury, an Android mobile with classic hard-buttoned Qwerty keyboard.
  • Bäcke from Sweden. Launch of two low-priced Androids, one with the backside cover of hemp/plastic and one with linen/plastics. These will only be available to order online and priced at  €300.
  • In addition, vendors such as Alcatel, Microsoft, Xiaomi, Meizu, OnePlus and HP will showcase their (and some new) mobiles.


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Is this your mobile wallet? Hope not!

  • There is a steady stream of new players entering the mobile payment and mobile wallets, making the market and consumers more and more confused. But I say be cool, consilidation game is on and we are starting to see where it’s going. The winners will be card and account based solutions and that add more than “just payments” to merchants and consumers.

Big players like Apple, Google and Samsung is launching their wallets country by country, banks is doing it starting with person-to-person payments services and local/regional heroes are adding more sevices to their wallets to get adoption.

Anyway, the most used mobile wallet today is the below one and it’s not recommended! At least in Europe this is the mobile wallet you will find at most users. These wallets, eg. smartphones with your payment cards and id’s in the sleeve, are all over the place lying on the tables at cafe’s and restaurants. If you loose your mobile, you will also loose your cards. I wonder why people don’t do their physical wallets in the same way? The “phone & card” way seems alright..but it isn’t!


I discussed this with several card issuing banks in Sweden and Norway and they all say the same. The card owner need to have their cards in “full control” and leaving them at the bar often stored in a glass waiting for more orders, in a bag hanging on back of your chair at the restaurant or on the table, is in most cases “not in control”. This means, if lost or stolen the bank can deny to pay back eventual money withdrawals done “by others”.

So, until your cards is virtual and locked and managed via mobile (but stored in the cloud), keep your physical cards the way you are used to, using a physical wallet or just out of sight.

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Swedish ATMs – a new clondike (at least for a few hours)?

Yesterday evening Swedish police where posted at ATMs after suspicious behaviours, where a lot of people where queuing up to withdraw money at many ATMs.  This after a rumor online that it was possible to withdraw any amount of money, at any time and without having funds on the account.

The problem was that the funds check on Swedbanks debit cards did not work due to a problem in their IT-systems. Withdrawals of money without funds where possible for some hours.

Clondike? Not! All transactions is tracked and persons will have to pay back (also as of terms in their agreement with the bank) if they withdrawn money without having the funds. Problem though if persons in access of stolen cards managed to do withdrawals..

Update: One person was interviewed in Aftonbladet on Sunday February 5. He claimed he took out 590 000 SEK (!) in multiples of the max per withdrawal (= 10 000 SEK)  without having the funds. He will now have to pay it back.

Police officers on site at an ATM Wednesday evening.
Photo by: Patrick Persson

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Infographics – All you need to know about mobile payments

This Infographics by Oberthur gives an ok overview on general/global mobile payments. Lacking is local and regional initiatives, and quite successful one’s, like Swish (Sweden), MobilePay (Denmark and Norway) and Vipps (Norway).

This Infographics divides the wallets into two major categories, OEM Pay (or “Tech Pay”) by phone manufacturers and Issuer Pay (or “Bank Pay”) by financial institutions allowing payments via their banking apps. I believe Retail Pay, besides all above mentioned, will be big. Good examples of these are of course Starbucks, but also Walmart Pay, Target Pay and Swedish Espressohouse :-).

See the Infographics here.



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