Norwegian looks to enter Danish banking market
SAS's top competitor, Norwegian, decided to establish its banking network in Sweden last week and has suggested that Denmark could be next.
Sweden was chosen over Denmark as the primary market choice for Norwegian’s banking ambitions, Bank Norwegian, because it is easier to rate customers' credit in Sweden than it is in other Scandinavian countries, according to Erik Jensen, the deputy head of Norwegian.
“There is an overall evaluation behind our decision to expand in Sweden instead of Denmark,” Jensen told Berlingske newspaper. “In Sweden, there is a central information database that allows us to see information about individual customers, such as who violates their loans. Sweden is one of the best markets for credit ratings and that lets us automate the process.”
Jensen went on to point out that Norwegian also has more customers in Sweden than in Denmark which will benefit the net-based Bank Norwegian.
Jensen said that there were no specific plans afoot that would establish Bank Norwegian in Denmark, but he did not reject the possibility of the bank moving to the Danish market in the future.
John Norden from the banking portal Mybanker has faith in Norwegian’s banking plans, despite its background as an airline.
“We’ve seen a number of business field blurring – such as with Virgin Money, Tesco and Ikano – and my impression is that it’s going well,” Norden told Berlingske. “The big brands see an advantage to entering the cash-flow industry and combine payment with their bonus and membership initiatives. There has never been a better time to peddle a brand that is already solid.”
A bank card from Bank Norwegian means that all purchases contribute bonus points towards Norwegian air flights. In Norway, where the bank was established in 2007, over 150,000 people use the card.
The news comes as the Norwegian airline continues to outperform SAS and in the wake of a survey that showed that over half of SAS's cabin staff want to move to Norwegian because they see the competition as being a more attractive work place.