Norwegian bank DNB spun off its mobile payments arm and divided shares with 105 other financial institutions in the country in a bid to fend off competition from rival mobile wallet providers.

The company said by diversifying ownership of the Vipps platform, the service would be better equipped to compete with national and international companies offering mobile payment services.

Vipps was launched as a person to person payment platform which used a customer’s mobile phone number as an identifier rather than having to use bank details. Following its success in this segment of the market, DNB announced the company would expand to provide a wider range of mobile payment services from a wallet app during 2017.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but if cleared DNB will hold a 52 per cent controlling stake in the new company. Other major shareholders include industry groups The SpareBank 1 Alliance and the Eika Alliance.

DNB Group CEO Rune Bjerke said: ” Over the course of 2017, Vipps will be available in far more places than we have seen up until now. This alliance will make us better equipped to win the race against Nordic and international market participants.”

SpareBank 1 Alliance representative Finn Haugan added: “Several market participants are competing to launch their own mobile payment solutions. A lot of people find this confusing, whether they are making payments or on the receiving end.”

“Many of our customers have expressed a preference for one solution: a single strong and distinct provider. This is why Norwegian banks now join forces to create one single mobile wallet for all Norwegian bank customers.”