When it comes to payments and e-commerce, the Nordic markets are unique, and this could impact your business.
The Nordics are digitally advanced and e-commerce horizons are expanding beyond the retail space and moving to digital platforms. This is a catalyst for change – our payments habits are changing, and fast. Cash is dying out and mobile payments solutions that are easy, quick, and secure are gaining traction.
But what makes the Nordics different – and what do those differences mean for your business?
Unparalleled mobile payments solutions
Let’s rewind to 2012, when the mobile wallet was introduced in the Nordics as a new technology. It quickly gained traction with apps like Swish, MobilePay, Vipps and Siirto revolutionising payments across the region.
Fast forward to 2020 and roughly every other consumer in Denmark, Norway and Sweden have used a mobile payment method to complete online purchases . In Finland, the use of mobile payments isn’t as widespread, with roughly 1 in 4 consumers using MobilePay, Siirto, Pivo or other mobile payments when online shopping. 
So, although debit and credit cards are widely preferred and invoice and bank transfers are also common in Sweden and Finland, mobile payments are increasing in popularity. In fact, between 10-18%  of people in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden state that they prefer to pay using a mobile application. In Finland, mobile payments are preferred by just under 10% of people , a number which is steadily growing.
If your business doesn’t already offer locally available mobile payments solutions, the trend indicates that this should be at the top of your agenda.
Prioritise ease and security
Across the Nordics, there are three main drivers for the choice of payment solution: habit, security, ease/speed.
In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, we pay by card out of habit. And our main reason for choosing to pay using PayPal is security. 
In Finland, it is habitual to pay by bank transfer, while the main reason for choosing to pay by card is security. 
In Sweden, 33% of people prefer to pay by invoice. Across all the Nordic countries, mobile payments solutions such as Vipps, Mobile Pay, Siirto or Swish are chosen because they are easy to use and quick. 
The preference for easy and quick solutions is also reflected in the amount of people who choose to save their card details online. In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden this is over 40% of consumers , while in Finland this is only 9% of the population  – though this may be because online bank transactions are most common in Finland.
These preferences highlight the need for businesses to provide a choice of different payment options. So, beyond the most used payment methods in your markets, you should also consider methods that cater to preferences for security, speed, and ease. And don’t forget mobile payments!
Buying services online
Our online shopping habits have increased, and we are buying things we wouldn’t have previously. In fact, in 2020 services accounted for 17 billion Danish kroner, 33 billion Swedish kroner, 31 billion Norwegian kroner and 3 billion Euro – amounting to a total equivalent to 11.64 billion Euros .
Across all markets streaming services were the most purchased online services, while travel and event ticket sales naturally dwindled as a result of the pandemic causing cancellations. Another popular category was insurance – which was in the top 3 most purchased in all the Nordic countries.
Many other types of services have also been purchased online during the year, including digital media, online gaming, online gambling, fitness and club memberships, online courses, charitable contributions and more .
Think your business isn’t appropriate for online sales channels? Think again. These numbers show that many different business models can have success with online sales.
Mobile shopping: a fast-growing trend
Not only are we spending more money online, across more categories, but we are also adopting new ways of shopping. Shopping on mobile phones and tablets has become more popular in recent years, peaking in 2020.
Sweden is most advanced, with 79%  of consumers having shopped online on their mobile devices in 2020. In Norway and Denmark, this number is 75% and Finland is 69% . These numbers may be linked to the increase in online shopping as a result of closures of physical stores, but also due to convenience.
But what does it mean for your business?
With such high levels of mobile shopping, it is increasingly important for your business to have a fully optimised mobile site and where relevant you could consider an app. It is also important to select a payments platform that is easy to use on both desktop and mobile.
How to tailor your e-commerce business to the Nordic market
E-commerce horizons are expanding, so having an online presence is increasingly important – whatever your industry. And when we say online, we don’t only mean desktop, but mobile too.
Consider your users’ payment preferences and provide them with a variety of options to choose between which cater to aspects like security, ease, and habit. You can even make it easier to pay, using functions like autofill and app switcher.
Nordea Connect allows you to offer many different payment options (including the Nordic mobile payment methods), in one streamlined solution which is optimised for both mobile and desktop, easily integrated into your website. With us, you’ll also have an overview of all transactions made in-store or in-app, using different payment methods.
Interested in finding out more? Get in touch!
 Nets (2021) Dansk e-handel 2020 // Nets (2021) Svensk e-handel 2020 // Nets (2021) Norsk e-handel 2020 // Paytrail (2021) Verkkokauppa Suomessa 2020
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 a) those asked were able to choose more than one category, and that b) DK SE NO were over the course of 2020 while FI was “in the past 28 days”