Norwegian financial services group DNB has spun off its Vipps mobile payment service in an effort to block competition from rival platforms.
Under the new arrangement, DNB, the SpareBank 1 alliance, the Eika alliance, Sparebanken More and 15 independent savings banks that are co-owners of Frende Forsikring have agreed to jointly develop Vipps. The move involves a total of 106 banks in Norway.
Vipps will now operate as an autonomous company, with DNB holding a 52% controlling interest in the business. SpareBank 1 alliance, the independent savings banks, the Eika alliance, and Sparebanken will own stakes of 25%, 12%, 10%, and over 1%, respectively.
DNB group CEO and incoming chairman of the board of Vipps Rune Bjerke said: "Vipps has become the champion of person-to-person payments and, in a short amount of time, has rolled out mobile, online and in-store payment solutions. Over the course of 2017, Vipps will be available in far more places than we have seen up until now. This alliance will make us better equipped to win the race against Nordic and international market participants."