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Automatia: Launching Finland's first real-time mobile payment platform

Paving the way for mobile payment solutions in Finland through the launch of Automatia's multi-banking platform Siirto.

Sami Uski

Head of Business Development, Banking & Digital Channels

The challenge

Enable real-time mobile payments in Finland, ensuring the common rules and guidelines of a payment ecosystem are in place. With unchartered territory ahead, how could we change the face of the Finnish payment landscape? How could we influence the future? The challenges and possibilities were many.

The solution

Siirto, an EU Payment Services Directive (PSD 2) approved platform for multi-bank payment services. For the first time ever, Finland could proudly announce that it had joined the world of mobile real-time payments.

Financial services Payment solutions Instant payments Digital customer experience

About the customer

Automatia operates the Finnish nationwide ATM (automated teller machine) network, and counts all of the banks in Finland as its customers.

Automatia
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Real-time mobile payments

Offering an alternative to cash and a replacement for cards with the first mobile payment solution in Finnish history created a seamless set-up.

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Safe, strong simplicity

Requiring nothing more than a mobile phone number to send or receive money simplified everyday life, while adhering to standards of security and safety.

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Enlightened hub

Elevating Finland's already eminent position as an incubator of innovative payment solutions, Siirto paved the way to future customer-prioritised services.

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Launching Finland's first mobile payment solution

The banking system has traditionally involved a closed architecture, meaning that advancements were slow and end-user choices limited. While Swish was breaking ground in Sweden, enabling person-to-person (P2P) payments with nothing more than a mobile phone number, Finland was lagging behind. How could Tieto and Automatia join forces to propel the Finnish payment system into the future?

As well as facing the challenge of carving out a new niche in the payment world, we were acutely aware of the need of providing a safe, secure, authenticated service. One adhering to the EU Payment Services Directive PSD 2, which safeguards consumer protection and stipulates the obligations of payment providers. Mobile payments certainly facilitate payments, but they can also place users' money and personal data at risk.

'Modern consumers are demanding real-time services in all aspects of their everyday life.'

Marko Vilo

Managing Director, Automatia

Siirto at your service

In March 2017, Siirto hit the Finnish scene. From one day to the next, consumers could make P2P payments from their mobiles, with funds transferred between banks in real-time. No more off hours and unavailable networks. Siirto rewrote the payment solution rulebook on Finnish soil.

What had previously been a closed architecture in the nationwide banking system transformed into a network of open application programming interfaces (APIs), encouraging shared knowledge and a more agile space for change. End consumers were offered a new world of payment possibilities, as Siirto provided a platform for a whole host of fresh services. By encouraging the entire financial ecosystem – banks, retailer and service providers – to work together under a unified umbrella, the result was a seamless service benefitting society at large.

As an easy-to-use, consumer-friendly platform, Siirto allows any licensed payment service provider to offer customers a solution through a single application, regardless of the bank or payment initiation service provider (PISP) involved.

'With the help of Tieto, we are creating Finnish payment service history, and enabling consumers to transfer money between various banks in seconds. This will dramatically change consumers’ payment behaviour.'

Marko Vilo

Managing Director, Automatia

Teamwork is the best work

Faced with the task of elevating payments to a whole new level, we embarked on an ecosystem collaboration. Coming together with Automatia and its partner banks, we pooled our strengths and resources. The need was there, the market was there, the know-how was there. We now had to crack the nut of how to combine them in the most efficient, effective, user-friendly manner.

First, we moved from a closed architecture to a system of open APIs, fostering a creative, communicative environment for development. Stagnancy and secrecy were replaced by swift collaboration and access to answers, on the go and on our toes. We facilitated discussions and encouraged an open, seamless work flow.

Secondly, numerous projects over the years in a variety of countries had taught us the importance of drafting legal regulations and requirements. We prioritised this task throughout the project. Through a series of conversations, we fine-tuned a list of guidelines for how future players would connect to Siirto, and how the central infrastructure would run.

Our extensive experience in building payment solutions gave us invaluable insight, and Automatia's extensive network of payment players provided the platform. Together, we took a vision of mobile real-time payments and turned it into a real-world reality.

'Most of the financial players in Finland are involved in this system... This will create a whole new successful ecosystem in Finnish financial services and open new doors going forward.'

Sirpa Nordlund

Executive Director, MobeyForum

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