Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of payment and e-money institutions in Lithuania continues to grow

While normal life was suspended under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, this does not limited Lithuania‘s speed in FinTech licensing. After the UK has left EU Lithuanian become EU No. 1 county in number of licensed and operational payment and electronic money institutions.

In March 2022 the Board of the Bank of Lithuania granted an electronic money institution license for UAB Monavate. It was already the fifth e-money institution license granted for the clients of ECOVIS ProventusLaw, issued during COVID-19 pandemic. UAB Monavate owned by Monovate Group owning UK Financial Conduct Authority licensed Monavate Ltd. Lithuanian licensed EMI will focus on supporting companies to enable them to launch card programs in a compliant and more efficient way.

Previously, the  Bank of Lithuania has issued four new electronic money institution license for Paywho, UAB owned by Singapore investor. 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.

Below are few more ECOVIS ProventusLaw clients secured EMI licenses during COVID-19 lockdown.

UAB Travel Union owned by UK’s Travel Union Finance Limited plans to focus in to the to the tourism sector planning to recover after COVID-19. In addition to traditional electronic money and payment services, UAB Travel Union will provide useful offers to travelers.

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 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.

BREXIT still remains important factor driving UK financial companies to Lithuania. Earlier ECOVIS ProventusLaw advised well known 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.

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 EU financial markets. 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 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.

ECOVIS ProventusLaw has already successfully guided more than 35 payment and e-money companies through the licensing process. 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).

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