ESA discontinues competition investigation in Norway

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ESA discontinues competition investigation in Norway

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has decided to discontinue an investigation regarding suspected breaches of the competition rules in the EEA Agreement.

On October 26, 2016 the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) opened proceedings to investigate whether Finans Norge, BankID Norge AS and two banks had been cooperating to exclude a provider of payment initiation services from the market for e-payments services in Norway

Finans Norge and Bits have had a comprehensive dialogue with ESA to clarify the case. To this end Finans Norge and Bits have provided ESA with information about the system for payment services in Norway and the regulations that applied in the period covered by ESA's investigation. Finans Norge and Bits have also communicated how they facilitate for new entries, innovation and competition in the Norwegian market for payment services.

The trust in the Norwegian system for payment services is based on the service providers complying with certain objective security requirements, including regulations for handling of the customer's digital ID. These are defined in the regulations and specify that the customers should not provide their login credentials to anyone else. When the new EU directive on payment services ("PSD 2") with related standards have been fully implemented in Norway, this will attend to many of the same considerations as the existing BankID regulations, including requirements for third parties offering services in the system and how the services should be performed.

Finans Norge and Bits want innovation and competition in the Norwegian market for financial services, including payment services, and will continue to facilitate for general, pragmatic and secure solutions for existing and new third party suppliers.

BankID is Norway's preferred eID solution and has today approximately 4 million users.