Nets, a Nordic payment giant which traces its roots back to 1968, has joined hands with Coinify to establish a Blockchain Development Lab. Nets joins a long list of financial services firms who are exploring blockchain to benefit from this innovation which has the potential to disrupt the market.

Nets – A Nordic Payment Giant

Nets was formed in 2009 through a merger between three leading companies (BBS, Teller and PBS) in the payment cards, payment solutions and payment information space. PBS, which was established in 1968,  was one of the earliest players in the electronic payment space and had a strong presence in the Danish market.

Nets is a leading player in the Nordic region (Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden) and generated revenue of over USD 1 Bn in 2015.

Blockchain Partnership with Coinify

Nets has entered into a partnership with Coinify to establish a Blockchain Development Lab to identify business opportunities in the field of blockchain technology. Given Coinify's position as the leading facilitator of blockchain payments in Europe, the partnership is expected to result in a win-win relationship for both companies.The partnership intends to develop proof of concepts which can act as the basis for developing specific products and services in the payment space.

According to Jan C. Plenge, Senior Vice President – Nets:

“We see potential in blockchain technology, so obviously we need to gain a thorough understanding of it and the possibilities it offers. It is important for Nets to closely monitor new digital technologies to be aware of the possibilities, even if that means blockchain technology could potentially challenge parts of our existing business. For many years, we have been the ones delivering the latest payment solutions to banks, and we intend to keep it that way, going forward.”

Payment Firms Kept on Their Toes

The payment segment has seen the highest activity in the fintech space, with tech-driven new entrants posing a threat to incumbents. While innovations until now have largely focused on improving the end user interface, blockchain has the potential to change the backbone of the existing payment infrastructure. Scalable blockchain technology would reduce costs, improve security and communication times (for cross border payments) resulting in a sea change in the way payment companies work. Hence, existing players look at partnering/acquiring blockchain companies to ensure that they are not left behind if blockchain technology does become scalable.