IT Intelligence Bulletin – The Nordic countries really are at the forefront of advances in payment systems.
The rest of the world has services like Paypal but these rely on credit and debit cards to facilitate the transactions, and which are generally processed in batches. In Sweden, on the other hand, they have Swish, a real-time, bank-to-bank payments service that is used by over half the population. Swish is so popular with users that it has become a generic term, i.e. “I’ll swish you the money”.
Swish works through a mobile app which relies on BankID, the national identity scheme, as a verifier.
The really clever stuff, however, is done at the back end, which moves the money directly between bank accounts, rather than having to balance credits. Swish, which has only been around for 5 years, was one of the first companies to offer this sort of service and has, to a large extent, helped define the market. Swish is built on top of the Swedish realtime payment infrastructure BiR, launched by the Swedish clearinghouse, Bankgirot (BGC), in a joint initive between the larger Swedish banks.
This report continues after the following message from HG Insights:
Getswish, the company behind real-time payment solution Swish, is partnering with Tieto and Bontouch to take the next step in the development of mobile payments. The aim is to make the payment experience even easier and to develop new functions to benefit the companies, organisations and about six million Swedish consumers who use Swish. The new deal runs over three years with an option for an additional two years.
HG Insights spoke with Pär Johansson, Tieto’s VP for Financial Services, about the deal. He explained that Tieto, along with Bontouch who will provide front end smartphone app, will be responsible for operations, development, service desk and act as ecosystem integration partner and drive innovation of the service together with other eco-system partners. Target operative model is a DevOps approach which brings together innovation, software development, application maintenance and operations to provide an integrated and agile service.
By automating many of the software development activities around the network, servers and firewalls, Tieto are able to provide continuous development and deployment, enabling them to push out functionality very quickly. The key, as Pär explained, is that the technology should not be a barrier to innovation.
Swish, and its future incarnations that Tieto will help deliver, are clearly the future of frictionless, real-time payments between individuals and businesses. It is bound to lead to a world without physical cash much sooner than we think.
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