The launch of Fidesmo Pay for Nordea Mastercard holders in Sweden introduces a new range of watch wearables that can be used for making payments. As wearables move beyond mobiles and sports watches, Nordea customers have even more choice for paying the way they like.
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Since its foundation in Stockholm in 2013, Fidesmo has been developing solutions to add payment and other contactless services like tickets, keys and loyalty schemes to a single card or wearable device.
As a first step, the collaboration with Nordea enables Mastercard holders to make contactless payments using watch bracelets made by the Nordic design brands Triwa and Ur & Penn. Enabled by Fidesmo technology using a system of card tokenisation, the plan is to add jewellery and other gadgets to the offering, potentially making contactless card payments via wearables the norm in the future.
For Nordea, giving customers the opportunity to make quick and secure payments with wearables in a way matched to their individual lifestyle is a key part of the bank’s consumer payments strategy.
Lars Boström, Head of Cards at Nordea, says: “By supporting innovation in the wearables space, we want to assist our customers in being able to pay how they like by using the payment device of their choice. We are not trying to drive our customers down one particular road or decide how they should pay, we are focused on allowing them to use their chosen device if the technology is in place. If an innovation happens in the world that is relevant for our customers, we can enable a payment in any device that is Visa or Mastercard compliant.”
We are not trying to drive our customers down one particular road or decide how they should pay, we are focused on allowing them to use their chosen device if the technology is in place.
Lars Boström, Head of Cards at Nordea
Fidesmo provides a streamlined integration process for manufacturers to add contactless services to their devices and for contactless service providers to distribute their services to devices without incurring any extra hardware costs.
Paying with tokens
Juha Risikko, Head of Mobile Commerce at Nordea, adds: “Fidesmo allows manufacturers to enable their watches to become payment devices in a relatively straight forward way. On Nordea’s side, the process uses similar kinds of tokens as those we have already enabled in Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay or Garmin Pay. It’s the same engine that we use to allow our customers to say ‘please tokenise my card and send it to this device’. We are basically enabling our customers to make their watch a payment tool. Of course, the consumer does not have to know that the tokens even exist but rather that they have the possibility of turning their watch into a payment instrument.”
The consumer does not have to know that the tokens even exist but rather that they have the possibility of turning their watch into a payment instrument.
Juha Risikko, Head of Mobile Commerce at Nordea
The future is wearable
Collaborating with Fidesmo is part of Nordea’s approach to using the same technology to expand their payment device offerings regardless of the initial size of the company.
Juha adds: “While at the moment it’s fair to describe Fidesmo as a niche offering, it is interesting for us as we have a cost-efficient means of onboarding new wallet providers. We believe that payments will be integrated into various types of devices in the future and the combined impact of supporting multiple cases will have a big impact on our customer value proposition. By leveraging our past investments, we can use the same value chain and security measures we have already implemented so that we can also enable these smaller players. That makes it cost efficient.”
“In the end we feel that our customers are happier because if they are sporty types, they might want to have a sports watch. If somebody also wants to make payments with a design watch using Fidesmo, we support that as well. Once the technology is in place we move from innovators to enablers. This is only just the beginning, so you can only imagine what sort of payment device you might be using in 5 years’ time. For the last 3 years it has been your mobile device, now it’s your smart watch and next it can be any watch or wristband, etc.”
We believe that payments will be integrated into various types of devices in the future and the combined impact of supporting multiple cases will have a big impact on our customer value proposition.
Juha Risikko, Head of Mobile Commerce at Nordea
Once a new payment provider is approved by Visa or Mastercard their processes are thoroughly audited, making it secure for Nordea to collaborate with the new partner.
Lars notes: “Approval from Visa or Mastercard means that they are saying to their global partners who are using tokenisation that ‘there is a new wallet provider and it’s up to you to allow them to use your cards or not’. The key thing for us is that the new provider is supported by either Visa, Mastercard or both and they certify that all of the processes they require are in place, making it much easier for us to then support such a partner.”
Nordea’s focus on taking the leading position in the Nordic region has established the bank as a front runner in the mobile payments space and led to more offers to collaborate.
Juha concludes: “I think that we have been the Nordic leader in this space now for a couple of years and when you are a leader in something you attract new partners. They understand that Nordea is at the forefront of developments even at a European scale, so we see an increasing number of proposals.”
“We quite often receive visitors from remote parts of the world coming to the Nordics to learn about what is happening here, why different things have been successful and what they can learn from us. In this region we are quite open by nature, so we are happy to share information about things that are already available in the public space.”
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