Danish NGOs are Furious with Nets


writer icon Hanne Larsen     ISB   |   Business     🕐 09. Jul. 2019

Nets A/S is forcing transaction fees up to an irrationally high level with their payment monopoly on the Danish market, according to Danish businesses and NGO’s,

Every time an amount is being donated to a NGO, Nets collects 4.32 Danish Kroner as fee for the transaction. Fees which collectively deliver more than DKK 6 million annually to the three largest NGO’s in Denmark.

One single choice
NGO’s and businesses do not feel that they have any alternatives to Nets' solution.

”We, as an NGO are exclusively funded by our members, which enables us to protect nature through raising conservation cases, influencing the politicians and strengthening the efforts for our nature and climate. For us as an NGO, four percent of our revenue goes to Nets alone. It is unsustainable,” says Deputy Director of the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, Michael Leth Jess.

Nets themselves state that ”if you have a restaurant, a clothing store, an ice cream parlour or something similar. Then you need a payment solution for the costumers to be able to pay,” and Nets is that one and only solution businesses and NGO’s feel they have.

A fair assessment?
Nets A/S was originally owned by a Danish bank, but are now owned by private equity fund Hellman Friedman LLC. Last year the corporation had a turnover of 7.6 billion Danish kroner.

Nets are so well-established on the Danish market, that any business or NGO can barely exist without using any of their services.

Next to the physical card payment service that a customer is met with in store, Nets are also provider of both NemID and Dankort.

Nets has done so well for itself, that it has ended up creating a monopoly for payment systems on the Danish market. In such a case of market dominance, a certain level of fair-behaviour is expected by the corporation.

”Our challenge is that there is no real alternative to Nets, and they use the monopoly to maintain unreasonably high fees. When you also experience exorbitant bonus schemes at Nets, it calls for a change. If Nets can't themselves bring down the fees, then I do hope the politicians will take up the matter.” says Karin Petersen, fundraising manager at Greenpeace Norden.

Nets and Hellman & Friedman

  • Nets A/S is a Nordic-based payment service provider.

  • Nets A/S has been known as Nets since 2010 but has a history that goes back to 1968.

  • In 2018 was Nets sold to the investment fond Hellman & Friedman LLC.

  • Hellman & Friedman LLC, founded in 1984. They now have offices in San Francisco, London, and New York.

  • During their past 25-year investing history, Hellman & Friedman LLC have invested in over 75 companies, whereof Danish Nest A/S is one.

  • Hellman & Friedman LLC raised its first institutional private equity fund in 1987.

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