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Week 34: Stacc is expanding

Also: 🥦 Grocery group as a bank? 📦 Vipps and gifting continued 🤭 PSD2 as a sales channel? ⛓ Block

This week in fintech

August 24 · Issue #24 · View online
A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

Also: 🥦 Grocery group as a bank? 📦 Vipps and gifting continued 🤭 PSD2 as a sales channel? ⛓ Blockchain - searching for a problem to the solution?

🥦 Grocery group as a bank?
The grocery group Norgesgruppen has established its own finance company. They are now breaking off its credit card collaboration with DNB and will administer their Trump Visa cards themselves. This is a strategic move to have control over the payment, especially the customer’s ID. They fear a third party coming between them and the customer. This breach does not come as a surprise to DNB, which has planned to withdraw from delivering credit cards for partners.
On the technology side, Norgesgruppen has joined forces with Coop to establish the company Aera, which will offer payment solutions. So far, this has been an expensive collaboration with a total loss of 240 million in four years. Hopefully, they will see the fruits (pun intended) of the partnership this autumn when they introduce a new generation of payment terminals.
📦 Vipps and gifting continued
Last week we wrote about Vipps and cheekily said that they had launched a feature «no one wanted.» The answer from Vipps was that «the idea of sending gifts is, to a large extent, requested by our users.» What they have launched is, as we guessed, an MLP (Minimum Lovable Product). Their plan forward is to listen, iterate, adjust, and then build on the product when they have gotten some feedback. At least they now have gotten our input on how they could optimize the process of sending gifts. 😉
🚀 Stacc is expanding
Last week Stacc agreed with BRAbank (former Monobank) to take over some of their products, and develop and commercialize these. The products in question is the credit card app MonoPay (also used by Widerøe and BRA Flyg credit cards), a case processing system for loan applications, as well as a points and loyalty system linked to the credit card app. Stacc will also continue to handle deliveries in Norway, Sweden, and Finland for all BRABank’s deposit and lending products.
At the same time, danish-owned Banqsoft is buying Concent, an IT company with software for credit management and debt collection services. The bank infrastructure market seems to be growing at the moment.
🤭 PSD2 as a sales channel?
BN Bank plans to use PSD2 to hijack customers inside the competitors’ online bank. Larger banks, which have the most customers in Norway, have traditionally not offered good deposit rates and conditions on these accounts, as this is not a significant driver for switching banks. Smaller banks that have specialized in providing a good savings rate now see an opportunity to offer their product, free of conditions and fees, in the major bank customers’ mobile bank with the help of PSD2. BN Bank has now launched the service, to easily create and activate a savings account in your regular bank. Finally, someone is trying to do something interesting on top of PSD2 instead of just aggregating accounts! But it must be said that this looks like an ordinary savings-account with an average deposit rate branded as a PR-stunt.
⛓ Blockchain - searching for a problem to the solution?
The most interesting I’ve read last week was a piece tipped by my former colleague, Ida Aalen, CPO and co-founder at  Confrere. The article probably has the best explanation I’ve read about how Bitcoin works. In the story, Jesse Frederik delves deeper into what Blockchain is, and what problems he thinks it solves:
“I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought: but what is it then, for God’s sake, this whole blockchain thing? And what’s so terribly revolutionary about it? What problem does it solve?
That’s why I wrote this article. I can tell you upfront, it’s a bizarre journey to nowhere. I’ve never seen so much incomprehensible jargon to describe so little. I’ve never seen so much bloated bombast fall so flat on closer inspection. And I’ve never seen so many people searching so hard for a problem to go with their solution. ”
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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