Danske Bank reaches out to startups at Fintech Innovation Day

Banks, fintech companies and politicians got together at the Copenhagen Fintech Innovation Day, during which Danske Bank called for collaboration.

More than 200 people gathered in Copenhagen on Friday for the Fintech Innovation Day 2017. Bringing together established banks, fintech companies as well as politicians and industry experts, the conference focused on the future of banking, collaboration between corporates and startups as well as new regulation in the field. Head of Business Innovation at Danske Bank, Klavs Hjort, called for collaboration between banks and fintechs. “We believe in Open Banking, and we have decided to embrace it. We would really like to collaborate with these guys,” he told the audience at Industriens Hus in central Copenhagen.

Fintech growth in Copenhagen

Klavs Hjort was on stage with senior vice president Ole Madsen from Spar Nord, Morten Dahlgaard from Aalborg University and Coinify CEO Mark Højgaard. They were accompanied by keynote speaker Nektarios Liolios from Rainmaking Innovation. The conference was hosted by The Confederation of Danish Industries (DI) and Copenhagen FinTech, an organisation which has seen a steep increase in fintech activity in Copenhagen in the past few years. Speaking at the conference, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Brian Mikkelsen said he believes it is possible to turn Copenhagen into a “fintech heaven” that could attract new financial technology companies from other countries.

Co-creation with fintechs
Earlier in the year, Danske Bank launched its Open Banking initiative, which has received wide attention among fintech companies, many of whom have indicated an interest in cooperation. Danske Bank is currently evaluating and investigating the many opportunities in the field. The overall approach is that co-creation with innovators, fintechs and start-ups all across the Nordics is needed in order to provide the best financial services. “We can benefit from their way of working in terms of speed. In addition to that, the fintechs have a very strong focus on customer experience when developing new products and services. Collaborating with fintechs will also allow us to provide customers with services that would be too little for ourselves to develop, but which nonetheless will attract new customer segments,” Klavs Hjort added.

New regulation coming up
The Copenhagen fintech environment is receiving increased attention these days as new regulation in the field is coming closer. From January 2018, the second European payment services directive, PSD2, will come into effect in Denmark among other countries. The regulation is widely expected to increase competition in the payments space, as the new law stipulates – among other things – that so-called third party providers, such as fintech companies, will at a later point be given access to bank customer account information upon customer accept.