In a world-first, Norwegian consumers can
now change bank and set up new bank accounts online thanks to the
launch of a solution developed by Norwegian technology vendor EDB
Business Partner in collaboration with BN Bank, a Norwegian
online-only bank. BN Bank is the first bank to introduce the
Introduction of the solution was prompted by a
regulation issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance in April
2009 that made it possible to use electronic authorisation to open
a new customer relationship with a bank or an insurance
According to EDB, a previously time-consuming
manual process that often took many days can now be completed in
The solution requires consumers to enter
personal details on an encrypted internet web browser form. The
bank then produces a customer agreement which the customer accesses
through his or her BankID display and signs electronically using a
Once the agreement has been electronically
signed, the customer can immediately login to use the internet
Norway’s BankID system was developed by EDB
and enables consumers to identify themselves and digitally sign
documents from public authorities, companies and other
organisations on the internet.
“Opening an account with a new bank is a very
time-consuming process, and although many people would like to
change bank, only a few actually make the change,” said Wiljar
Nesse, executive vice-president, banking and finance at EDB.
He continued that the solution will promote
competition in Norway’s banking market.
“We expect to see an increase in the number of
Norwegians changing bank as the new solution comes into use
throughout the country,” said Nesse.
Indicative of the potential for significant
customer churn the solution could trigger, figures from the
Norwegian Financial Services Association show that in 2008 as many
as 60 percent of Norwegian banking customers considered changing
bank. However, only 6 percent of bank customers actually moved to a
new bank during the year.
Also of note, BN Bank estimates about one
third of Norwegian bank customers who start the process of changing
bank do not complete the task.
Norway is a nation of online bankers, with EDB
predicting that the number of online accounts could overtake the
country’s population in 2009. According to EDB, at the end of 2008,
4.2 million Norwegians had an online banking account, a level
indicating that virtually every Norwegian adult now banks