When Bo Nilsson joined Nets in May 2013, the company, in his view, had a significant potential for accelerating growth. It was time to take Nets from Good to Great, and when he took over the corner office in 2014, Bo and his leadership team embarked on a journey of transformation which would make the Nordic payment specialist more customer and market-oriented, and not least more streamlined. As a testament to this transformation, the company’s operational performance has increased significantly, with an increase in the company’s EBITDA b.s.i. margin from 23% in 2013 to 36.7% in 2017. At the same time, Nets has managed to solidify its position as a leading Nordic payments processer and merchant acquirer, creating value for its shareholders while launching several new innovative payment solutions, notably within e-commerce, mobile payments, instant payments, PSD2 and anti-fraud.
Innovation has been key in Nets’ transformation, and Bo made sure to give ‘Great Ideas’ centre stage when he shared his new ambitious strategy with his team in late 2015. Only a few months later, the company’s Digital Lab saw the light of day with a view to trying out emerging technologies such as biometrics, virtual reality and blockchain. In 2017, the lab matured into the independent innovation business, Smart Payments, which enables Nets to push out a steady stream of easy, intuitive and customer-oriented solutions that build on unmatched connectivity.
Nets’ finger vein scanning solution is a perfect illustration of the work carried out at Nets’ innovation incubator. The biometric solution allows consumers to pay by inserting their finger into a finger vein scanner, which then authenticates the payer and authorises the transaction. Another example is the blockchain-based micropayments solution that enables media outlets to monetise low-value items. A third example is the My Payments app which gives Nets’ merchant customers a quick, data-driven overview of their business with anonymised statistics on customer behavior, peak hours, customers’ countries of origin, loyalty and so on. The app is currently available to Finnish, Danish and Norwegian merchants.