Unleashing the global potential of Norwegian fintech

The Norwegian fintech scene has in few years grown from a modest infancy to a force to be reckoned with in only a few years. In order to utilize this potential we have decided to establish the association Finance Innovation with the main objective to build a global fintech hub. Behind the inititive is more than 20 key finance and tech companies in Bergen. The cluster will act as a catalyst to launch new initiatives in research, education, innovation infrastructure and internationalization.

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How big is the problem of plastics in the ocean and what are we doing to solve it?

One of the biggest environmental threats facing the ocean is plastic waste. More than 80% of waste that ends up in the ocean is generated on land, and one of the major contributors to this mess is plastic. According to a recent report by World Economic Forum the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 if we continue at the same pace. How severe is the issue, and what are we currently doing to solve it?

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Fintechs and incumbents accelerating together

The Nordic fintech scene is growing fast in terms of number of startups and investments and innovative and ambitious startups are popping up in all of the major cities. TheFactory – a Nordic Fintech accelerator and incubator based in Oslo, Norway, is running 12-week accelerator programs tailored to fintech startups, TheFactory is open for applications through August 3rd. Startups seeking industry partnerships, mentoring and seed investments are encouraged to apply.

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2017 has been an eventful year so far

It has been almost 6 months since I got on the plane and headed over to Bergen to take on the role as Chief Digital Officer in Skandiabanken. By now, fintech has exploded as a mainstream topic with an increasing level of interest from the general public. As customer expectations intensifies, so does the sense of urgency for banks to actually but those words into action and put their money where their mouths are. So far this year, I have done my part to make that happen.

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The most important trait of an innovator is resilience

In the age of digital disruption, the ability to be innovative is crucial for every incumbent. Changes are happening fast, and incumbent business models are challenged from every direction. No matter the resources allocated to innovation, supporting structures and conditions for innovation, the ability to innovate boils down to the competence and talent in the organization.

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If developers are the new rock stars, APIs are their instruments

Last week we announced that Skandiabanken will be supporting digital currencies by integrating to Coinbase Connect and exposing the account balance held at Coinbase. The real innovation really has little to do with bitcoin and digital currencies, but rather a representation of the way open banking will shape new products development and customer experience.

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Digital currencies available at Skandiabanken

Ever since the advent of bitcoin, the debate has alternated between bitcoin as a currency, blockchain as a protocol and bitcoin as an asset class. No matter how you choose to look at it, blockhain and digital currencies are gainging a lot of interest, and we wanted to explore this space by allowing our customers to view their Coinbase account balance directly in their online bank.

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What made me go into banking?

If anyone had told me fifteen years ago I would end up working in the banking sector, I would probably have thought of it as a highly unlikely outcome, but here I am. The other day, a former colleague and friend asked me what made me see the light and enter the banking sector, and it got me thinking. I guess my natural curiosity and passion for innovation and change to the positive has led me this where I am today, and I still feel like we are just scratching the surface of the future ahead.

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Identitet i en digital verden

Hver person, ting og entitet har sin egne unike identitet, og evnen til å bevise denne er nøkkelen til alt fra å logge inn på Facebook til å levere inn selvangivelsen. Vi omgir oss med ulike former for digitale identitetsløsninger som gir oss tilgang til innhold, foreta betalinger og kommunisere gjennom dagen. Samtidig henger mange av prosessene og reglene knyttet til opprettelse og verifisering av identitet igjen i den fysiske verden med signaturer, papirbasert ID og fysisk oppmøte.

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Skandiabanken becomes largest shareholder in Quantfolio

Artificial intelliegence will undoubtedly revolutionize wealth and asset management, and we wish to take an active part in this revolution. Last week Skandiabanken entered an agreement to purchase 39,9% of the shares in Quantfolio AS. The investment represents an important step in the banks ongoing work to further strengthen and facilitate user-friendly digital saving options for the private market.

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Are banks ready to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to fintech?

By now, almost everyone in the banking industry agrees that we are facing a perfect storm of changes that will forever alter the landscape for financial services. However, it still seems like a long way from talking about it to acknowledging the potential threats and challenges. And an even further way towards putting that knowledge into action.

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Open banking: A playbook for banks and fintechs

The landscape for financial services is changing, and the jury is still out as to how the endgame is going to play out. One of the concepts shaping this future is open banking. After looking into the subject, it is becoming clear that there is no one size fits all open banking strategy. Rather, there are several tactical moves that are being played aout by a variety of both banks and fintechs. No matter which strategic option(s) you choose to follow, open banking will fundamentally change banking the same way internet banking once did.

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Cash is no longer king

The idea of a cashless society is one of the topics that stirs up a heated debated when it comes to digitalization of banking and society. On the one hand, physical cash is the common denominator for corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and other various illegal activities. While the anonymity of cash acts as an enabler for the illegal economy, many fear that the lack of said anonymity will inevitably lead to an Orwellian society where individual freedom is limited.

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