Independent Finland celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. To celebrate Finland’s 100th anniversary, we collected facts about money, financial products and payments for each independent decade in Finland. Discover 100 years of Finnish history through money!
Finland’s first coin was struck in the 11th century
The use of minted money became more widespread in Finland during the 14th century, but also natural products such as furs were used as a supplement. In prehistoric times, furs, especially squirrels, were used as a trading tool in Finland. Many will surely breathe a sigh of relief when today there is no need to march to the grocery store with squirrel skin in hand.
The first mark of all time
Finland got its own mark in 1860. The problem was that the Russian ruble was too much money to be used in what was then Finland. Tsar Alexander II authorized the introduction of a smaller currency, thus creating the Finnish markka.
From an eagle to a lion
Although the mark had been in use in Finland since 1860, the Russian double eagle featured on the edge of the coin. In 1918 the eagle was replaced by a lion in the name of independence.
Plastic payment cards arrive in Finland
The first first payment cards were introduced already in the 1910s, but the first payment cards came to Finland in the 1950s in the form of petrol cards by international oil companies.
Finland’s first credit card was introduced in the 1960s by Luottokunta. However, credit cards did not become commonplace until the 1980s, at the same time as a revolutionary debit card was introduced.
You can compare all the credit cards available in the Finnish market in our credit card comparison:
Finns go online
In the 1990s, Finnish OP was a pioneer in the world. In 1996, OP introduced online banking as the second in the world and the first in Europe. Creating an online banking service required effort and innovation as it was a completely new service that had never been seen before.
Nowadays, online banking has evolved into smartphones and many people take online banking for granted. Digitalisation is pushing forward banking services, and online banking has also significantly contributed to the ever-decreasing need for branch services for the younger generation.