Close countries panel

Select country

For solutions in a specific country please visit our local website

Nets is a part of the Nexi Group - The European PayTech. Visit our Group website at

Managed innovation shapes the future of European payments

​The second wave of digitalisation is swiping across Europe, as the pandemic induces new consumer trends and brings new challenges to issuers. Managed innovation through co-creation partnerships is the fix, according to Torsten Hagen Jørgensen, chief executive of Issuer & eSecurity Services at Nets Group, that will unlock the great value of the business intelligence stored in the back end.  ​

​In the Nordics, digitalisation is no longer the new black. The demand and adoption rates for digital solutions and services have in recent years accelerated, and today the Nordics are to a large extent almost cash- and paperless societies.

Meanwhile, the European payment industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, undergoing heavy consolidation and internationalisation, while scale and reach has become increasingly important to succeed. On top of this, the call for digital transformation and the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed life on so many levels, is driving up the need for contact-free commerce all across Europe with a push towards online ecommerce and mobile payments.

​Author/source: {attribution}

Torsten Hagen Jørgensen

CEO, Issuer & eSecurity Services, Nets Group

Since December 2019, Torsten Hagen Jørgensen has been the CEO of Nets Issuer & eSecurity Services. Prior to that he was part of the leading Nordic bank Nordea's Group Executive Management, where he since 2011 has held several different positions, most recently as COO and Deputy CEO. ​​​​

One destination, different journeys

The online modernization in banking started back in the 1990s reflecting new consumer and technology trends. Back then it was much about going from physical to web, digitizing the core aspects of banking like customer engagement, and uniting physical and online channels for efficiency gains and easier access to customers.

Over the past 10 years, with the rise of fintech, the first wave of 21st century digitalisation has swept across a majority of banks in the Nordics who have adopted Mobile as the key channel to interact with their end-users for many of their basic services. Most banks are now focusing on the way's customers interact with the bank and how to improve their customer experience, taking services from the many fintech companies who helped build the original neo-banks.

In this first wave of digitalisation, incumbent issuers have been able to digitalise their front-end services without making fundamental modernizations to their core infrastructure and for that reason exactly they have been able to copy and in some cases even surpass the customer experience offered by neo-banks.​


​This is why banks across Europe are now facing the second wave of digitalisation. Just as banks have upgraded their entire range of front-end services to personalise and improve the customer experience, they are now starting to move away from monolithic back-end systems. In the new world of open banking, where banking products will no longer be marketed exclusively by traditional banks, the need for speed and flexibility will make all the difference.

​While nearly all the Nordic banks ended up very much in the same place, the journey for each was different. And exactly those differences hold the key to understanding what challenges but also opportunities the current second wave of digitalisation will bring around in Europe, and how the issuers, if they act smart and in due time, are able to ride the second wave safely and staying on top. 

A differentiating opportunity
The second wave of digitalisation translates into rapidly growing adoption numbers for digital customer journeys in banks throughout Europe. A development driven by both consumer demand and cost-reductions. This will likely result in a further push towards more contactless, digital customer journeys, and far more use cases becoming all-digital.

This also means that banks must start preparing their systems and services for keeping up with the accelerating digital demands and put lots of efforts into keeping pace and making the right investments. And there will be no two journeys that are equal when you look upon the variety of legacy systems to be replaced or built upon.

Many European banks are currently weighing their strategic options and considering reaping the potential benefits of focusing on the core of banking. One smart way to go is to outsource the issuer processing services to an external partner, leaving the seasoned legacy platform environment behind. Replacing it with a co-creation partnership that enables the issuer to enhance the front-end experience for the end-user, based on a modular and flexible processing platform, while unlocking the value of the data and business intelligence stored in the back end. Outsourcing is no longer a cost-exercise only – it is a unique and differentiating business opportunity to improve the customer journey.

​Designing for the future
Many issuers are already preparing for the second wave to hit them, and the preferred toolbox seems to be similar: solutions that are cloud-ready, API everything, modular and flexible for engaging faster and better partnerships with the Big Tech's and fintech's of the world. 

In Nets, managed innovation means not only the traditional offer to create a tailor-made solution. More importantly, it refers to the entire process, starting from how the solution is designed together with the customer and with the help of authentic co-creation, to building a roadmap and prioritising all the relevant components of the final solution. Handled right, this is a very productive and fruitful process for all involved, and I have seen managed innovation being very well received by customers of all sizes, from neo-banks to large international issuer banks.

So, as rapidly changing consumer trends are bringing new challenges to issuers, and with the pandemic accelerating the need for innovation already part-underway, the payment environment must now start adapting to this major shift. By moving into the second wave of digitalisation, and through managed innovation and co-creating partnerships unlocking the value of the business intelligence stored in the back end, to improve the customer journey. 

In that process, I strongly believe that the sector could and should learn and build upon the Nordic heritage and tradition of co-creation, with managed innovation being its tailored form. Let us welcome the second wave of digitalisation as a unique business opportunity to successfully meet new consumer trends and start realising the next level of business objectives and benefits.​​​