While normal life is suspended under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, this does not limit Lithuania‘s speed in FinTech licensing. On 15 April 2021, the Board of the Bank of Lithuania granted an electronic money institution license for Paywho, UAB. It’s already the fifth e-money institution license for the clients of ECOVIS ProventusLaw, issued during COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, the Board of the Bank of Lithuania has issued four new electronic money institution licenses for UAB Travel Union, UAB BEBAWA, and UAB B4B Payments Europe. ECOVIS ProventusLaw specialists have led them through the whole licensing process.
This also corresponds to the information published by the World Bank recently. Their experts stated that FinTech can help in the response to COVID-19 by providing solutions to maintain social distancing, ensure business continuity, strengthen health-care outcomes, and prevent service disruptions. Moreover, many UK fintech firms and banks are proactively applying for licenses in EU countries ahead of the deadline. That will allow them to continue to operate across all markets even if the U.K. fails to reach a deal with the EU.
This growth, uninterrupted by the pandemic, shows that the Fintech sector in Lithuania is robust, welcoming, and built on effective collaboration between the public and private sectors. Even in these uncertain times, the FinTech team of ECOVIS ProventuLaw continues to assist global tech companies in discovering the opportunities and benefits of our ecosystem and launching operations in Lithuania with full access to the EU market.
This growth, uninterrupted by the pandemic, shows that the Fintech sector in Lithuania is robust, welcoming, and built on effective collaboration between the public and private sectors.
‘The COVID-19 crisis has revealed Lithuania’s versatility, flexibility and its determination to becoming a regional FinTech hub and capacity to mobilise its resources in the face of the threat, and to devise innovative solutions to world’s challenges, says attorney at law of ECOVIS ProventusLaw Kęstutis Kvainauskas.
An electronic money institution license issued for Paywho, UAB will let the company to issue electronic money and provide payment services specified in the Law on Payments – to execute payment transactions, to issue payment instruments, to process payments, to execute money transfers. Paywho, UAB plans to provide services in the European Union and Asia to buyers and traders, as well as tourists and persons living abroad to pay for services and goods on Internet platforms. Paywho will offer its customers to pay using a MasterCard or a new solution – using QR code technology.
Licenses previously issued for UAB Travel Union and UAB BEBAWA will also provide them the right to issue electronic money and certain services indicated in the Law on Payments.
UAB BEBAWA intends to offer services (e-money, transfer of funds, payment processing) to European companies whose clients are expected to include pension funds, e-commerce shops, tax consultants or business consultants with customers with specific business needs. All shares in the institution are owned by Domando AG, a Swiss-registered company.
UAB Travel Union will pay particular attention to the tourism services sector. In addition to traditional electronic money and payment services, the institution will provide useful offers to travellers. It is owned by Travel Union Finance Limited, established in the United Kingdom.
One more client of ECOVIS ProventusLaw – UAB B4B Payments Europe – is a part of UK based B4B Payments Group. It will let the group to gain access to the financial markets of continental Europe after Brexit and to ensure it can continue operating in the region and avoid disruption to their users, even in the event of a no-deal scenario. B4B Payments provides forward-thinking payment processing solutions, which enable any size organization to manage expenses, simplify payroll, reimbursements, and offer employee rewards and incentives. B4B Payment’s solution combines a Mastercard prepaid card with a powerful in-house proprietary management portal saving businesses time and money. License issued by the Bank of Lithuania grants the right to provide a wide range of payment processing services and payment card issuing in all EEA Member States.
Recently ECOVIS ProventusLaw advised another UK-based Fintech Contis Group offering alternative, end-to-end banking and payments solutions by getting of Electronic Money Institution license for securing the group‘s access to the financial markets of continental Europe after Brexit.
ECOVIS ProventusLaw has already successfully guided more than 30 FinTech companies through the licensing process during the last few years. Besides the licensing of financial institutions, the firm leads its clients through business incorporation, finance and tax issues, AML, GDPR, regulatory compliance, information security matters. ECOVIS ProventusLaw has experienced and certified experts in money-laundering prevention (CAMS) and personal data protection (CIPP/E), as well experts in IT security.
Lithuania attracts FinTech companies from all over the world due to its favorable regulatory environment: co-operative attitude (newcomer program), smooth authorization process (among the fastest pan-European FinTech licensing in the EU, specialized bank licenses for challenger banks), forward-thinking regulation, access to a payment infrastructure (CENTROlink) and a pro-innovative approach (regulatory sandbox for testing an innovative idea).