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Providing payments in an instant for Lowell

The financial company Lowell has recently implemented Nordea’s new online payments platform Nordea Connect for its customers in Sweden. The increased selection of payment methods offered by Nordea Connect improves the user experience for Lowell’s customers and provides an intelligent backend for enhanced reporting.

Find out more about Nordea Connect at nordeaconnect.com

Designed for merchants, Nordea Connect is a Nordic online payments platform that directly connects business owners to the full value chain of Nordea’s solutions and advisory services.

Lowell is the second  largest provider of Credit Management Services in Europe and employs 850 people in the Nordic region. With a range of offerings in credit management and debt collection for both large and small companies, Lowell’s goal is to “Make credit work better for all”.

A fundamental part of Lowell’s collection model is based on receiving payments online. This means being able to partner with a highly stable PSP (Payment Service Provider) solution offering up to date payment methods is a critical part of supporting the business. Towards the end of 2019, Lowell implemented Nordea Connect as their new online payments platform, with all of the customers of Lowell Sweden now making payments via Nordea Connect.

Jens Lindeblad, Head of Digital and Innovation at Lowell Sweden, says: “We have had a close relationship with Nordea for many years. When we started to review our online payments set up to investigate which supplier has the latest products and can meet our demands, we were very happy to hear more about Nordea Connect. From the beginning it was clear that Nordea Connect was an advanced solution, and yet very uncomplicated in terms of implementation and the overall interface it could provide us with. As with almost all businesses, people are extremely cautious when it comes to selecting the tools for enabling payment streams but even though this was a pretty new platform, the fact that it was backed by Nordea made us very confident that it would work.”

As with almost all businesses, people are extremely cautious when it comes to selecting the tools for enabling payment streams but even though this was a pretty new platform, the fact that it was backed by Nordea made us very confident that it would work.

Jens Lindeblad, Head of Digital and Innovation at Lowell Sweden

Instantly positive

Lowell customers receiving a payment request are sent to a self-service portal on the Lowell website and with one click from there are now forwarded to a payment page supported by Nordea Connect. The addition of Swish mobile payments, as one of the options offered by Nordea Connect led to an immediate uptick in customers making instant payments.

Jens adds: “In Sweden we really see people moving from card payments to instant mobile payments. That’s actually a big positive for us because people really trust Swish in Sweden, so this makes the perceived customer experience much better. We saw right from the beginning of integrating Nordea Connect that almost half of all of the payment volumes we were receiving were directly made via Swish instant payments. Instant payments are also very interesting for us because receiving the payment a little bit faster is very important for the merchants we are supporting on the other side of the transaction.”

Nordea Connect enables one simple integration for multiple payment methods. For Lowell, having the flexibility of adding payment methods such as Swish and removing others that become less popular, is an important part of providing a quick and easy payment service for their customers.

Jens continues: “We have actually removed a payment  option sometimes used in Sweden, which is making a payment directly from your bank account, as this was not widely used and involved a lot of extra processing work for our finance team. Since we have added Swish, we haven’t received a single negative comment and in fact people are telling us how great it is that they can now use this payment method.”

“Nordea Connect has a very user friendly solution for integrating several payment methods. Very early in the process, we were clear about the payment methods we needed and were happy to see that the Connect solution already offered these methods. Nordea Connect makes it possible for us to add payment options later as they become popular and this is of course something we would do very carefully in a test environment first to make sure everything works smoothly,” Jens adds.

Instant payments are also very interesting for us because receiving the payment a little bit faster is very important for the merchants we are supporting on the other side of the transaction.

Jens Lindeblad, Head of Digital and Innovation at Lowell Sweden

Seamless business support

For Lowell, providing up to date reports on the number and volume of incoming payments is an important aspect of daily operations. Nordea Connect’s intelligent backend, known as the ‘merchant portal’ provides access to payment data which can be quickly exported for further slicing and dicing.

Jens continues: “Nordea Connect has the added bonus of an easy to navigate backend where I can pull out a real time report a soon as I need it. If I need to make a report on the number of instant payments we have received over a certain period or how many have been rejected, etc, it is now very easy to extract that information. Previously that would have taken a couple of days with a few email requests back and forth, so this is an interesting benefit that will help us in our operational decision making.”

If I need to make a report on the number of instant payments we have received over a certain period or how many have been rejected, etc, it is now very easy to extract that information.

Jens Lindeblad, Head of Digital and Innovation at Lowell Sweden

The adaptable design of Nordea Connect’s front end also meant it was possible to create a payment page with the same look and feel as the rest of the website. Harmonising the design of the page ensures Lowell customers enjoy a seamless experience right the way through their Lowell web journey.

Jens says: “Even though Nordea is a well-known and trusted brand, it was important for us to make sure that the payment page had the same look and feel  as our homepage and the rest of the website. A sudden change in colours and design might make the customer wonder which page they have clicked through to so we have made sure to add our colours and brand to the actual payment page. The Nordea Connect team have helped us with adapting the look and feel which has been important for making sure our customers feel safe and secure when they reach the payment page.”

Connected to Nordea

The implementation period for integrating Nordea Connect was completed in just a few weeks and also enabled Lowell to link up with other Nordea solutions.

Jens adds: “The integration process was very smooth and was much faster than we have previously experienced. There was a very good collaboration between our IT team and the Nordea Connect IT team to make sure that everything was set up correctly. You need to have developers that talk and work closely with each other for everything to work smoothly, so that cooperation was great. After the testing phase, we activated the solution overnight and Nordea Connect went live with no hitches. Of course, not hearing anything is perfect for us so we knew everything worked from the start.”

The integration process was very smooth and was much faster than we have previously experienced. There was a very good collaboration between our IT team and the Nordea Connect IT team to make sure that everything was set up correctly.

Jens Lindeblad, Head of Digital and Innovation at Lowell Sweden

Jens concludes: “Nordea Connect has enabled us to leverage other Nordea services and integrate all of our payment data into one large file that we import directly into our production system. This is really great and means we can get the data perfectly and in time. Of course, the overall most important thing is that a payment platform has to be super stable.  We need a modern solution and we need things to be instant. It’s also really good that if we want to change something, it can be done from our side and we don’t need to request support for everything. Having the whole package that feels modern and easy to implement for us was very important.”

Find out more about Nordea’s new online payments platform Nordea Connect or contact psp@nordea.com.

Read more about Lowell here: https://www.lowell.com/.

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