Big Names Back New Banking And Financial-Services Company

Sampo, Accenture, Nokia, and VC firm 3i Group are splitting up ownership--and responsibilities--in Meridia. The new company intends to provide an inclusive software package for European financial firms.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

November 1, 2001

1 Min Read

Sampo, a Finnish financial-services group, along with Accenture, Nokia, and European venture-capital firm 3i Group are taking ownership in a new banking and financial-services software company, Meridea Financial Software Oy. Financial details of each shareholder investment were not specified.

Sampo has agreed to use Meridea's electronic and mobile banking software during 2002 and 2003, and it will transfer about 30 of its employees to the new company. The other shareholders will also transfer staff and technology to Meridea. Accenture will provide systems integration; Nokia will supply the mobile technology.

With the creation of Meridea and its focus on software for electronic and mobile financial services, Sampo is trying to create an inclusive software package for European financial firms, says Ed Kountz, Tower Group senior analyst. "Web-based banking solutions in the European market have been homegrown or in-house developed using external infrastructure or internal resources," he says. "Through Meridea, Sampo aims to provide Web and mobile banking access, using more of an off-the-shelf infrastructure."

Starting with Sampo, Meridea will sell software to European financial-services customers. Partnering with Accenture and Nokia, global companies with large North American customer bases, Meridea has a good opportunity to market its software to North American financial firms, Kountz says. But he adds that it's wise for Meridea to focus on the European market initially, before venturing into North America. "There are lots of electronic banking players in North America. There's more competition than in the European market, where the ability to outsource electronic and mobile banking hasn't developed as quickly."

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