Magazine article Global Finance

Trail Blazers

Magazine article Global Finance

Trail Blazers

Article excerpt

One of the key trends changing the treasury and cash management landscape in the Nordic region is the swift rise of fintechs, which are entering a space that was previously dominated by the banks. Those banks that want to survive, and indeed thrive, have embraced this trend and are partnering with their fintech peers to provide best-of-breed solutions to clients.

"Fintech disruption, digitization, the blockchain, payment systems-these developments are certain to affect corporates and the role played by treasury," notes Erik Zingmark, co-head of transaction banking at Nordea. "Three of the main disruptive factors we see are technology and digitally-driven future payments, the morphing of treasury ecosystems-including skills development and new solutions-and connectivity within organizations across different banking partners and borders."

As with the rest of Europe, countries in the Nordic region see the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) as a game changer for their payments business models. The new directive applies to countries in the EU (Denmark, Finland and Sweden) and in the European Economic Area (Norway and Iceland). "Banks are under attack due to changes driven by PSD2," says Zingmark. "In short, banks and banking will change fundamentally. Fintechs won't take over, but this is the starting point of new ways of working and new ways of collaborating with partners."

Treasury needs to drive this change, alongside banks and third parties, says Zingmark, by creating and pushing their own digital agenda and forming a solid strategy for all commercial, financial and intercompany flows. …

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