Web browser group Opera commits $100m+ to launch European fintech strategy

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 17 February 2021

Digital BankingSavings and Investment

Starting with in-browser cashback and with payments and BNPL on the horizon.

Web browser group Opera commits $100m+ to launch European fintech strategy
Image source: Dify/Opera.

US-listed web browser Opera is getting involved with European fintech in a big way, today launching its own startup called Dify (pronounced “defy”) and announcing its intention to invest more than $100m in fintech over the coming years.

Dify is an in-browser cashback service that will let Opera’s 50m European active users earn cashback from their online shopping without jumping through any hoops.

As well as cashback, Dify also includes a current account and virtual Mastercard debit card which can be used to make online purchases and hints at what might be coming down the line.

“Cashback is the driver into what we do next,” Paul Andrews, VP of fintech expansion at Opera told AltFi.

“It's the catalyst to what will come after that, and we've spoken around instant cashback, we've got some ideas around how we could really alter the shopping experience even more, with maybe features like buy-now-pay-later.”

Opera itself quoted “savings management, credit, investment opportunities and instant cashback” among the future features it is considering.

The web browser’s unusual decision to get into fintech comes after Opera acquired Estonian banking-as-a-service startup Pocosys and Lithuanian fintech Fjord Bank in 2020and joined the EU’s Emerging Payments Association.

Building cashback and payments capabilities into a browser is undoubtedly novel but, given Opera’s 380m-strong global user base, the rollout of these features could quickly see mass adoption worldwide.

Andrews told AltFi that Opera’s “huge commitment” to fintech is expected to reach $100m over the next two years, including the cost of its two previous acquisitions and the launch of Dify.

To start with Dify is launching in Spain in beta, but Opera says it plans to expand to more European markets soon.

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