FinTech Climate: Norway
Research successfully identified the climate for FinTech companies in Norway. The country is friendly to FinTech startups and there are initiatives like Innovation Norway, Angel Challenge, and FinTech sandbox. There are FinTech clusters like Finance Innovation, NCE Finance Innovation. Startup incubators in the FinTech sector include, FinTech Room, Oslo FinTech Hub, DNB NXT, The Factory, and Startup Lab. There are 4.28 million users in the digital payments sector and the number is expected to reach 4.49 million in 2023.
FRIENDLINESS TO FINTECH COMPANIES
- Norway Ministry of Finance has launched a regulatory sandbox which promotes the growth of FinTech startups.
- The FinTech sandbox provides a low-cost environment for testing FinTech products without undergoing through the expensive and lengthy authorization process.
- Startup Norway runs the Angel Challenge initiative which encourages angel investors to invest in FinTech.
- The DNB NXT Accelerator launched by DNB bank and Startup Lab promotes innovation in FinTech.
- Spleis is a crowdfunding platform launched by Sparebank 1 group to facilitate easy funding for FinTech projects.
- The Norway government through Innovation Norway provides support to startups in the form of funds, networking opportunities, and advisory services.
- The government has a scheme where FinTech startups can claim deductions for equity investments.
LEADER FOR FINTECH
- More than 20 leading businesses in finance and technology have formed a cluster known as Finance Innovation.
- The cluster aims to act as a catalyst for launching initiatives that establish Norway as the global hub for FinTech.
- Bergen University is developing post-graduate programs in finance technology.
- As far as digital infrastructure is concerned, Norway has been ranked as number one.
- At least 90% of the Norway population relies on internet banking.
- The Norway financial sector has demonstrated its ability to collaborate and innovate over the recent years.
- Fintech Room is the only startup incubator in western Norway that focuses on FinTech businesses.
- Oslo FinTech Hub is an independent hub with a mission to provide a FinTech platform for innovation. Oslo FinTech Hub is run by The Factory and ICT Norway.
- The Factory has organized and coordinated series of events, meetup, and accelerator programs.
- NCE Finance Innovation is an independent FinTech cluster supported by The Research Council of Norway, SIVA, and Innovation Norway. Its mission is to facilitate a thriving FinTech ecosystem.
- In collaboration with Norwegian School of Economics, they have developed the Fintech Executive MBA.
- Access to FinTech startup capital is plenty with VCs like North Zone, Investinor, and The Alliance Venture demonstrating a track record of funding FinTech businesses.
- Banks like DNB and SpareBank 1SR have created investment funds targeting FinTech companies.
- DNB NXT and The factory are among the top accelerator programs for FinTech startups and they also provide access to open APIs for necessary banking data.
- Finans Norge and IKT Norge are support organizations for FinTech startups in Norway.
- Startup Lab is an incubator program that takes 15% stake in the startups they fund and support. The Katapult Accelerator is a recent entrant with focus on exponential technology in FinTech.
CONSUMER/BUSINESSES EMBRACING FINTECH
- Smartphone penetration in Norway is over 80% creating a good ground for user adoption. This has resulted to 90% of the entire population using internet banking.
- Startups like Instabank has attracted customers quickly with a customer base of over 7,000 users over the last one year.
- The largest FinTech segment in Norway is digital payments with a transaction value of close to $13 million.
- In 2019, there are 4.28 million users of digital payments and this number is expected to grow to 4.49 million users by 2023.
In order to provide an overview of the climate for FinTech businesses in Norway, the research team consulted the web for online publications in the FinTech industry. The search yielded satisfactory results and we were able to locate publications and statistics from databases like Statista showing the FinTech landscape in Norway.