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Lithuania seeks to strengthen its position within fintech

Lithuania is already a bright star on Europe’s map for financial technologies (fintech), but the country is taking further steps to create a better environment for fintech development and to attract more companies.

This year Lithuania got the spotlight as the country that has piqued the interest of many UK-based fintech companies. Amidst the uncertainty of Brexit, more and more UK companies are rushing to open offices on the continent. To operate in the European Union (EU), fintech companies must obtain a license issued by any member country. Therefore, The Bank of Lithuania created an e-licensing tool last year to make the submission of information for an operating banking license easier and more efficient. The institution currently offers the quickest licensing in the EU, and e-registration that can be accessed from anywhere on the globe.

The Lithuanian fintech cluster is now composed of upwards of 120 companies. InstaReM, Harbortouch, Revel, TransferGo, Nayax and Monetha are some of the big names using Lithuania not just as a platform for operating across the European Economic Area, but also as a development base.

On November 8 Lithuania will hold an annual international conference in Vilnius – Fintech Inn – to discuss how it could strengthen its leadership in the region. Daumantas Dvilinskas, co-founder and CEO at TransferGo, leading digital remittance and payment provider, will be among the speakers. This Lithuanian company is currently making waves as one of the hottest fintech startups around. The startup recently launched their international free money transfer service, the first of its kind.  Other well-known fintech leaders like widely recognised electronic money economist Jon Matonis, Chief Economist for Financial Products at Bloomberg LP Michael McDonough, and Deputy Head of the Capital Markets Union of European Commission Jung Lichtenberger will also be speakers at the conference.

An opportunity to evaluate progress

Vilius Šapoka, Minister of Finance, said Lithuania’s forward-thinking approach to regulation is part of the strategy of turning the country into a booming fintech hub.

“Because of our modern approach to regulation, ICT infrastructure and talent pool, the world sees Lithuania as one of the most prominent countries in fintech. I strongly believe that during the Fintech Inn conference together with global business leaders, policy makers and academicians we will find new innovative solutions for making better business environment for Fintech industry, ensuring better financial services for consumers and managing possible risks,” said Mr Šapoka.

Marius Jurgilas, one of the main architects of Lithuania’s fintech strategy and member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, said that the majority of companies interested in applying for an operating banking license are from the UK, other European countries and Asia.

“For the second consecutive year we have seen a significant growth in the number of applications to have an operating banking license in Lithuania,” Mr Jurgilas said. “These companies are finding a large talent pool of professionals with expertise in the fields of information technology and finance. The number of experts and friendly environment makes Lithuania a perfect place for companies creating new disruptive technologies.”

According to him, the Fintech Inn conference provides a good opportunity to evaluate the country’s progress, attract new companies and to improve existing fintech strategy.

More information about Fintech Inn can be found at fintechinn.lt