FINLAND HAS LONG BEEN A FRONTRUNNER in the so-called ‘cashless revolution’, with card and mobile payments overtaking cash payments for the first time several years back. Across the EU, a total of 78% of all payments are made in cash. However, the reverse is true in Finland, where more than 80% of all payments are made via debit or online banking.
As a percentage of the total of all payments in Finland, online payments are rapidly emerging as the most popular option, with the number of such payments growing by 28% in 2018.
But which online payment solutions are the most popular? Let’s take a look and see which online payment methods are preferred by businesses and customers in Finland.
While tailored online solutions are emerging in popularity, the lion’s share of digital transactions is handled by Finland’s personal ID-based online banking system. Last year close to €7.8 billion worth of transactions were processed via the Netbank ID solutions used by the likes of Nordea and S-Pankki, which represents around 70% of all online transactions in Finland.
Of course, this solution is only available to businesses and individuals with a Finnish personal ID, meaning that those who are not resident in Finland or do not have a Finnish bank account cannot access this option. In addition, NetBank payments don’t offer the same instantaneous transactions or personalized e-wallets that other solutions do. This explains why quite a few competitors are starting to catch up.
Founded in 2001, the UK-based e-payment solution Skrill has rapidly emerged in the past few years to become one of the most popular payment gateways for businesses operation in Finland. The fact that Skrill supports more than 40 currencies makes it a hugely popular option for businesses with an international customer base. In addition, the airtight security measures and double encryption make it popular among businesses that deal with large volumes of cash flows.
One example in Finland is online casinos, with major digital slots and roulette providers like Fortune Legends opting to use Skrill due to the security and peace of mind it can offer to its customers who want to make deposits and cash out quickly and safely. Skrill’s popular e-wallet feature also allows casino players to hold their gaming money in place which does not contain their personal banking details.
The next most popular e-payment solution in Finland is a domestic player that is capturing a rapidly-growing slice of the pie. PayTrail was originally established under the name Suomen Verkkomaksut back in 2007 as a solution to help the organizers of the Finlandia Marathon process the deposit fees of runners. Since then, PayTrail has carved out a space for itself in the e-payments markets and is currently used by thousands of online and in-store businesses across the country.
The company now sees itself as a serious domestic competitor to Silicon Valley giants such as PayPal, and is making plans to expand across the Nordic countries in the years ahead. More than €8 billion have passed through their online solution since it was first founded, with the Helsinki-based company attracting more and more business customers with each passing year. It’s a secure and easy-to-use system that supports all major banks and debit cards, which has helped fuel PayTrail’s rise as a domestic giant.
Clearly the world of online payment platforms is big business in Finland. Whether these solutions will retain their dominance in the years ahead remain to be seen, as there is no shortage of competition.