Nets Joel Risberg guest blogs on the future of payment solutions.
Since Nets is one of Europe’s largest payment solutions, we must be able to respond to
increased demands from authorities, fast-changing customer needs, as well as far-reaching
measures that need to be taken quickly in response to conflicts, such as the one currently
underway in Ukraine.
We also of course need to understand local needs and current trends. It is not possible to
see ourselves as an isolated island in the midst of all this. We have to co-operate with other
actors. Banks, e-commerce platforms and companies such as Zwapgrid are examples of
actors that provide important infrastructure. Systems that work together are more
important than ever. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject based on my work at
We must collaborate if we are to increase the value of our knowledge.
Many people know that Nets is a major player in in-store and online payments. But today
we do much more than most people might think. We usually say that we enable business as
commerce enablers. Our traders should be able to sell more and run a successful company
more easily. If some of their needs are outside our areas of expertise, we try to help by
collaborating with partners. An example of such a service is when we act as a bank and offer
financing for our customers’ operations. We know exactly how our merchants are doing and
can adapt loans based on their transactions.
We need to offer automated accounting and much more.
New things are happening all the time and new demands from our customers can determine
whether we are a relevant option or not. Areas that were previously something a small
group of traders want can quickly become an expectation. This might be crypto,
supermarket scanning solutions, payment methods, or the automation of payment
bookkeeping in their financial systems.
What was previously a peripheral plus has now become clear requirement specifications
and completely business critical. Historically, we have developed a large number of special
solutions based on requirements from our customers, but it is not possible to scale these up
for a large customer base. What we provide has to be scalable and standardised. Zwapgrid’s
network is a great example of how this can be done efficiently and smartly.
We must meet increased security requirements together.
It's becoming increasingly important to be able to ensure that everything goes smoothly and
that rules are followed within a range of processes such as KYC compliance, terrorism
financing, anti-money laundering (AML) and reporting to authorities.
Especially at the moment when war has rapidly necessitated a series of different measures that make it important to be able to quickly track transaction flows for example, processes must move
forward faster. This is simply too complex and time-consuming even for us as a large provider. This makes this an area where I see considerable potential to collaborate with other actors to solve challenges that affect many people and where constant development and updating of common rules and guidelines is required. Infrastructure and knowledge simply cannot be the preserve of a few; it should be shared safely among many.
We shouldn’t “box in” customers because doing so hinders much needed improvements.
There is one trend that worries me. Many large platform solutions try to box in their
customers by making it difficult to switch suppliers. This slows improvements that must be
made available to everyone. We have a different strategy. We must earn the right to have
our merchants as customers, you must want to stay with us because we have good quality
support, functionality, etc. Not because it’s difficult to change. Connectivity is a key part of
this. When the right technical conditions are available to use Nets as a natural part of its
larger whole, we also have the opportunity to focus on being the best alternative, not the
provider you loathe and endure for a while before you switch to someone else.
We must never overlook the local perspective.
Last but not least, we act as a payment solution in a world where actors need to grow
quickly to operate efficiently. This creates pressure to consolidate with smaller providers
being squeezed out of the market for volume deals. Our strategy has been to become the
largest and leader with our technology and we really have large volumes behind us. All our
technology is improved and consolidated so that what we create works across Europe and
so that Nets is a natural choice of payment solution even if you have local needs for other
One of the advantages we have over our competitors is that we have always invested in
having strong local connections. We get a lot of customers from other providers. The
customers don’t feel well served by payment solutions, even though their payment solution
sometimes comes from the same region. We succeed because we have specific
departments focusing on different types of verticals within different industries. We look
after their needs and focus on how we can make solutions as good as possible for them. In
all the markets we are present, we have local expertise, always a direct contact, and always
collaborate with local actors.
I see huge potential for us as a major player that never loses the local perspective thanks to
infrastructure like Zwapgrid’s networks and knowledgeable people who understand and
know their customers.