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Instant payments and the Nordic region: what financial institutions should know

It’s an exciting time for financial institutions in Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. As a long-time global leader in payments innovation and efficiency, the Nordics are now transitioning from localized standards to international, cross-border standards. 

So how will these changes affect the instant payment landscape across the Nordic region, and how can Nordic banks prioritize instant payment innovations? Let’s dive deeper into these topics.

How Are New Regulations Affecting the Nordic Payments Landscape?

Big changes are underway for Nordic payments. Here are some of the most monumental developments taking place:

P27 Cross-Border Payment System

In 2018, the journey for P27 started for a modern cross-border clearing platform that promotes trade among Nordic countries. Owned by the six largest banks in the region, P27 aims to go live in 2024. 

Under the new regulation, banks are increasing the number of clearing cycles per day, enabling real-time payments, and adhering to a new standard for file payments. The changes are opening up more opportunities, innovations, and products while granting easier access to a larger market. These changes are also fostering greater collaboration and harmonization across the Nordic countries, the UK, and mainland Europe.

ISO 20022 Migration

TARGET2 migrated to ISO 20022 in March 2023, and SWIFT is already in transition period through to November 2025. This standards for payment messages helps streamline issues with payment compliance, infrastructure, and customer experience. The new regulation is helping make international payments faster, more transparent, and more efficient than ever before. Likewise, new services like Request to Pay are generating new business opportunities across the region.

“We’re trying to get our community to work over borders, so that we’re not just only doing it domestically,” said Jenny Winther, Head of Payment Schemes at Sweden’s Handelsbanken. “We need to make that step into harmonized, international standards, because that will be the foundation on which we can build amazing things going forward.”

Why Payment Modernization Is a Must

Instant payments are here to stay — it’s a natural evolution. Payments modernization is a must for Nordic banks that want to stay ahead. Large banks must adapt for compliance purposes, but smaller banks also have compelling reasons to prioritize instant payments. Adding the service to their infrastructure allows them to better serve segmented audiences, bring in new revenue streams, and stay competitive in an ever-changing landscape. 

Simply put, modern payments require modern payments technology. Though Nordic banks have always had strong digital capabilities, legacy systems cannot deliver the speed needed for P27 and the data handling required by ISO 20022.

How Volante Can Help 

For Nordic banks looking to keep up with the times, Volante Technologies can help. Our modern cloud-native payments solutions are ISO 20022-fluent, real-time, and API-ready. They are available 24/7 and have the capacity to scale and meet the demands of modern Nordic payment standards, both now and in the future.

Discover how Nordic banks and financial institutions can accelerate the adoption of the P27 platform and create value for business customers. Get in touch with Volante Technologies today to discuss our Nordic payments solutions for domestic and cross-border payments.

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