Announcing Partnership with Danske Bank – Empowering fintech collaborations and innovation in Danish market
2019- 03- 21
As Nordic lands finally show early signs of spring season, we kicked off Lighthouse Development Program workshops together with our banking partners in Tallinn, Oslo and Copenhagen. With this excitement, we are honored to announce our new partnership with Danske Bank, one of the largest and most renowned banks on the Nordic markets, as our official banking partner in Denmark. With Mastercard’s global network, the new relationship echoes Danske Bank’s innovation initiative to empower the local fintech community to the next level.
During our first workshop in Copenhagen, we sat down with Morten Schwaner, Head of Card and Mobile Payments at Danske Bank, to understand their views on fintech innovation and the new partnership with Mastercard.
Lighthouse team: Hi Morten, thanks for representing Danske Bank and joining us today in our Copenhagen workshop. Before we dig deeper, could you let us know about your role at Danske Bank?
Morten Schwaner: My role as Head of Card and Mobile Payments involves both improving our existing products and also developing new services for our customers within this area. With help from Danske Bank’s Corporate Entrepreneurs from Innovation Department, we want to build and collaborate with the best solutions that enhance customer experiences.
Lighthouse team: As you are closely working with new product development, could you tell us more about Danske Bank’s innovation strategies and how you engage with fintech community?
Morten Schwaner: Sure! At Danske Bank, we strongly believe in open innovation with a mix of our own development. We look for joint value creation with startups and 3rd party collaborations where each party brings in unique capabilities. Catering to this approach, we have set up various innovation vehicles to engage in the ecosystem. To name a few, we have our own Innovation Lab to co-create proof of concepts with entrepreneurs. We participate in Copenhagen Fintech Accelerator program as well as Plug & Play Frankfurt to actively scout new ideas and talents. Locally have we established a dedicated Strategic Fintech Partnership team that cooperates with community initiatives like Copenhagen Fintech Lab or Mastercard Lighthouse program and helps discover the best fintech’s for our venture arm to invest. Last but not least, we support the Nordic startup ecosystem through our Growth and Impact unit, as well as connect and advise startups with Danske Bank Growth unit.
Lighthouse team: If a fintech company is interested in working with Danske Bank, what should they have in mind when building partnership with you? What kind of fintech companies are you looking for?
Morten Schwaner: Danske Bank strives for providing great values and best experiences for our customers and we look for partners and startups that share the same focus. In general, we engage within a variety of defined domains when building external partnerships. For the Mastercard Lighthouse program, we want to discover fintech startups with new innovative solutions and value-adding services for our personal and business customers within the payment space. Fintech companies should have in mind a value proposition of their products but not necessarily mature in their business development process.
Lighthouse team: Could you tell us more about Danske Bank’s strategic rationale of joining the Lighthouse program?
Morten Schwaner: We have been working closely together with Mastercard within the payment space and therefore it is a natural yet strategically important step for us to participate in Mastercard’s startup initiatives and expand our partnership. We have an open innovation approach as the core pillar in our strategy. The synergies of bringing the talents, capabilities and assets from startups and corporates together are extremely powerful and couldn’t be achieved individually. We are hence very motivated and proud to be a partner in the program to jointly create value for the ecosystem.
“In Danske Bank we strongly believe in the power of innovation together with fintech companies. We look very much forward to our partnership with Mastercard in Lighthouse program and collaboration with the fintech ecosystem.”
Lighthouse team: With your role and engagement with startup community, could you share some thoughts with us on the fintech development in Nordic and Baltic regions?
Morten Schwaner: Overall, we believe a strong and thriving fintech ecosystem is the cornerstone for the development of the financial industry and competitiveness on the world stage. We have great infrastructure in the Nordic and Baltic markets and observe key players such as corporates and regulators to join force in order to push boundaries of fintech evolution. We also witness great examples of successful fintech companies as well as fintech-corporate collaborations. The Nordics offer an ideal test environment for fintech’s thanks to the highly digital and cashless society with good living standards. Yet there is still a long way to go in order to unite strengths and act as one strong ecosystem across the Nordic and Baltic regions. By this way, we would be more attractive to best talents and become the fintech super hub worldwide.