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Nordea brings social aspect to saving with fintech startup Spiff

Nordea launches a mobile savings app from Norwegian finanical technology company Spiff

Nordea Liv has joined forces with Norwegian fintech startup Spiff to launch a mobile app for social saving.

Through the app, the pension and insurance arm of financial services group Nordea is introducing a social aspect to saving.

“Spiff offers us a new approach to saving that is easy, fun and social,” said Randi Marjamaa, CEO of Nordea Liv in Norway.

Spiff encourages saving by enabling users to set aside money for specific goals, such as a holiday, a new home or a pension, and making it easy for family and friends to make contributions.

The agreement with Nordea Liv, which offers occupational pension schemes as well as life and pension insurance, gives the startup access to the insurer’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and includes piloting the service with its customers. 

Marjamaa said the collaboration first started as a “test and learn” relationship where Nordea was working on its open APIs and Spiff was looking to test its product.

“As the teams have been working very well together and the service has developed, we decided to go for a pilot to see how real customers would like the service,” she said. “Of course, customers have given input along the way, but the pilot will give even more information.”

Nordea has more than 10 million private customers across the Nordics, and whether the collaboration could open a door for Spiff to customers is also under consideration.

Spiff was founded in 2015 by Carl-Nicolai Wessmann and Steve Mellbye-Stølen and has since raised almost NOK10m (£966,000) in funding from 20 investors.

“With our collaboration and the changing landscape in banking, we see that working together on development of for instance APIs on our Spiff platform and Nordea’s core banking infrastructure, we can offer much greater financial user experiences [which would] otherwise be impossible,” said Wessmann.

“This is just the beginning of more open banking demanded by users and to be facilitated by PSD2 [the revised Payment Services Directive] in Europe next year.”

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Spiff is currently preparing for a closed beta and expects to launch to the wider public in summer 2017. The savings app will be free to use for consumers with banks, fund providers and other partners expected to pay for access to the platform.   

This is not the first time Nordea has turned to fintech startups to develop new digital services for its customers. In 2015, it launched a three-month fintech accelerator programme in Helsinki run by its digital banking unit in collaboration with Finnish startup accelerator Nestholma.

Similar initiatives have been seen across the Nordics. For example, Norway’s largest bank DNB has joined forces with StartupLab to launch its own fintech accelerator programme, DNB NXT Accelerator, and Denmark’s Danske Bank has helped to build The Hub, an open digital platform to support growth startups.

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