Up until recently, online shopping was possible only if you had a credit or debit card from Visa, Mastercard or other credit card companies or an account in an online “bank” such as PayPal. Some people may not want to, or be able to use a credit card for several reasons.
Another problem with paying form your bank account is that you can’t do it directly form the merchant’s user interface, so you have to take the account number, sign in and pay from your bank. After that, it may take days before the money arrives in the merchant’s account and it may be resource consuming to link the payment to the shopping event.
Fintech disruptors have however been as active as in any other filed. When there is a demand, a supply will follow. To solve the problem several apps and service providers from different countries have emerged to give users the chance to make online payments directly from their bank accounts. These services are used in a variety of business sectors from telecom to travel and gaming. One area of growth has been the igaming sector where both deposits and rapid access to winnings are provided. Pikakasinot for example, lists many online igaming sites which accept “direct from bank” payments.
Here are a few noteworthy services:
Established in 2008, Trustly is a Swedish company with 9 regional offices across Europe and the the Americas in addition to its Stockholm headquarters. The company is licensed under the Swedish finance authority and European Service Provider (PSP). Clients don’t need to register to use Trustly and no information about the user is archived. Trustly works with all Finnish banks; Nordea, Danske Bank, OP, Aktia, S- Bank, etc..
Trustly offers instant payments, transfers and pay-outs between consumers’ and merchants’ bank accounts. Trustly’s growth has been exponential; starting from a few hundred thousands, the transactions made through the service rose to around €110 million by 2019. The company has 500 employees from 50 different nationalities. Trusty claims to have 6.3k connected banks, over 8k merchants and a consumer reach of 525m.
Euteller is the Finnish competitor to the Swedish Trustly. Euteller differs from Trustly by additionally offering mobile transfer services. The recently launched Euteller’s instant mobile payment service, called Siirto, gives users the possibility of sending and receiving money to each other knowing nothing else than the receivers phone number. The service works with all major Finnish banks. With Siirto the end-user no longer needs to confirm the deposit on the online bank website. The deposit is confirmed by the Siirto application that consumers have installed on their mobile phone. A confirmation request will automatically be sent as a mobile phone notification. Euteller is a licensed Payment Institution supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA).
Euteller was established in 2007 and had a revenue of €3.5m and a profit of €1.4m in 2019.
With 5.8 m users, in Finland, Greenland and Denmark, MobilePay focuses on transferring money from your phone to another person or a merchant using only their phone number. The company announces that 37% of all transactions through the app in 2020 were business transactions and that over 200k Nordic shops and web-shops accept MobilePay as a payment method. Over 395 million transactions were made through the app in 2020, amounting to 18 billion euros of spending by the users. One of the innovative functionalities the company has introduced has been the possibility of splitting for example a dinner bill among friends. The company was established in 2013 by Danske Bank and has been expanding since.
There is no doubt that more secure money transfer and payment services will emerge and put pressure on traditional brick and mortar banks to change or go out of business. These direct payment services also are disrupting the credit card business. Digitalisation has made it much easier to spend money, and to be fair has offered lots of possibilities to earn as well.