Danske Bank becomes co-owner of Spiir

Danske Bank invests millions in Danish-based Spiir, thus becoming co-owner of a FinTech company for the first time.

More than 200,000 Danes today receive help from Spiir to manage their budget, monitor their spending and find less expensive alternatives for their fixed expenses. With the investment, we now have access to Spiir’s technical platform, which includes data retrieval from other Nordic banks to the benefit of our customers.

The investment in Spiir supplements our work to meet the requirements of the new Payment Services Directive II (PSD2), which obligates banks to make customers’ bank data available to third parties. It is also a step towards opening up more for partnerships and making it simpler and more efficient for our customers to manage their day-to-day finances.

Most recently, we have entered into an agreement with the Swedish company Minna Technologies, but the investment in Spiir nevertheless stands out.

We collaborate with several FinTech businesses on developing new customer solutions within Open Banking. But the agreement with Spiir is the first time that Danske Bank also becomes a co-owner.

Lars Malmberg

Head of Commercial Excellence in Group Development in Danske Bank

Fertile ground for new solutions
Among other opportunities, Lars Malmberg sees a potential in Spiir’s work to develop its platform, the Nordic API Gateway, which will make it easy for third parties to build new smart customer solutions, in particular because customers can now grant third parties access to their bank data.

For our customers, the investment in Spiir firstly means that it will become easier for them to view their accounts with other banks, if they wish to. If, for example, customers have accounts with several banks, they will soon be able to view these accounts in Danske Bank’s new Danske Mobile Banking app. Spiir’s app can help consumers keep track of their spending and optimise their personal finances. In the long term, the partnership and Spiir’s technical platform also open up for completely new opportunities, such as help to manage bills, more automated budget control or help to save up.

Gain for customers
At Spiir, there is also great satisfaction with the partnership, which opens up new opportunities for the development of even better solutions in the future, as well as faster expansion to other Nordic countries.

“With Danske Bank to back us, we now have the opportunity to accelerate the development of both Spiir and Nordic API Gateway. The partnership represents a benefit for consumers because they can use their data where it makes sense, but also for businesses, where one can, for example, imagine liquidity management or accounting solutions that automatically perform reconciliations with a bank,” says Rune Mai, CEO from Spiir.

Facts on Spiir 
Spiir was founded in 2011 by Rune Mai and Gudmundur Hreidarsson for the purpose of making personal budgets both fun and easy to understand. The two founders are currently CEO and CTO in the company, respectively, in a business which consists of 15 employees and is backed by a number of private investors, including entrepreneur Lars Kolind.

 

Facts on Nordic API Gateway 
The objective of Payment Services Directive II (PSD2) is to sharpen competition, increase security and improve innovation in payment services to the benefit of consumers. One effect of the Directive is that banks are obliged to provide access to their users’ payment accounts so that new payment services providers can offer their payment services within the EU. But the obligation does not apply until from the end of 2019. Nordic API Gateway enables Danske Bank and other banks, data processing centres, FinTech companies etc. to give their customers access to use their bank data in other applications long before the banks make their APIs available.

 

Facts on APIs 
Application Programming Interface (API) – is the technical term for a set of software features that other software can use. When an API is made available, the Danske Mobile Banking app may make use of the functions built into the API, which, in Nordic API Gateway’s case, means the possibility of, for example, giving customers access to view their accounts with other banks.