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Did Vipps launch a feature no one wants?

This week: 👩‍🎓 Student loans in banks 😍 Laser engraved cards, anyone? ✋ Did Vipps launch a feature no

This week in fintech

August 17 · Issue #23 · View online
A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

This week: 👩‍🎓 Student loans in banks 😍 Laser engraved cards, anyone? ✋ Did Vipps launch a feature no one wants? 🌊 Klarnas successful savings account 📱 Facebook has formed Facebook Financial (F2) 💸 Loan secured by your Bitcoin holdings?

👩‍🎓 Student loans in banks
For the most part, all of us have loans in banks and see our debt somewhat regularly. But one loan is a bit different: student loans (Lånekassen in Norway). For most, the payment just runs monthly, and that is it. Two years ago, Sbanken started a pilot-project with Lånekassen to show your student debt directly in their bank. A natural step for aggregating your economic data and a showcase for the API-economy. Now two years later, the pilot is expanding to other Norwegian banks (DNB and Sparebank1 for now). However, the question is why a pilot for just displaying one number has been running for two years before expanding it? 🤔
✋ Did Vipps launch a feature no one wants?
Vipps, Norway’s largest Fintech, sat a new record of usage this summer. Never before have we used their service this much – especially for payments. Because of the pandemic, Vipps has received strong support from the fact that restaurants and bars made extensive use of new digital solutions this summer.
Vipps has also advertised heavily for their new feature: send a gift with Vipps. There is, without a doubt, a user-need to share gifts with friends and family digitally. According to Nutmeg, an online investment management service, nearly half of the UK’s adults said they were more likely to give cash over physical presents under lockdown. Looking closer at Vipps, I was a little disappointed when I found out that the new gifting feature just consisted of sending digital confetti to the recipient for 5 NOK in fees. I, therefore, wrote a comment on what Vipps could do instead. I cheekily wrote that they launched a feature «no one wanted.» Still, there is nothing inherently wrong with the implemented feature – just the value proposition. However, my main reason for writing the comment was because I wish for someone to create the suggested solution, and Vipps is perfectly positioned to do so. 
How gifting in Vipps could look
How gifting in Vipps could look
Head of strategy in CoopX, Henrik Valstad, wrote a reply questioning why ideas always have to be grandiose to be great? A bit generalizing based on one comment, but a lot of good points from the product side. Let’s hope we never end up in a panel talk around this topic since it probably would end up in the usual: «yes, we more or less agree.»
😍 Laser engraved cards, anyone?
As a designer, there is something special about physical design and printed objects that you can touch. Within banking, credit cards are almost the only physical manifestation of a brand. Therefore we always find it fascinating when we see new concepts on cards, even though we believe they have played their part and that all of us in a few years just will pay with our phone. The danish Fintech Lunar probably has the most delightful cards we’ve seen so far: Metal cards with customized laser engraving. Lunar also just launched support for ApplePay on their cards.
Some of Lunars laser engraved cards
Some of Lunars laser engraved cards
📰 Other notable news
  • 🌊 Klarna just launched their savings-account, and the customers are pouring in. In only one month, they have gotten 20 000 customers to the product. 
  • ₿ Coinbase has just launched the ability for some customers to borrow up to 30% of their Bitcoin holdings.
  • 📲 Facebook has officially formed Facebook Financial (or F2 as they call it internally) to pursue their payments and commerce ambitions. The team will run all payments projects, including Facebook Pay, the company’s universal payments feature that it plans to build inside all of its apps. This is one to follow. 👀
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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