FinTech development in Lithuania gathering pace
Favourable conditions for the development of financial technologies (FinTech) in Lithuania have already attracted numerous domestic and foreign companies. Upon implementation of planned initiatives for fostering FinTech development, the sector is likely to attract more investment and create more jobs, while consumers may be offered a wider range of financial services.
'We feel a huge interest in developing FinTech activities in Lithuania. The fast-growing number of licensed companies shows that participants in this highly potential sector willingly choose Lithuania as their home. This offers new opportunities for businesses and higher quality services for consumers,' says Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, Public Relations Division of the Bank of Lithuania informed in a press release.
FinTech companies have been issued 32 licences – nearly twice as many as in 2016, when 17 licences were issued. About 20 more applications from companies are currently being investigated, while more than 100 companies have been interviewed and met with. Not only domestic but also foreign companies are interested in the possibility to be issued a licence in Lithuania, mainly from Great Britain, Israel, Germany, China and other countries.
Favourable conditions for setting up a FinTech ecosystem in Lithuania are created by measures that are being implemented in close cooperation with public sector bodies responsible for the development of the financial sector.
'The main purpose of cooperation is to create an environment conducive to financial innovations and promote the development of innovative business. Lithuania senses global changes and keeps pace with financial innovations. A perfectly developed infrastructure, close network of contacts and favourable geographical location provide proper conditions for competing with other European countries. This year we intend to initiate regulatory innovations that would facilitate the activities of FinTech companies in Lithuania,' says Loreta Maskaliovienė, Vice Minister of Finance.
'Each new licence opens up a possibility to create additional jobs in the country. Public undertaking Invest Lithuania has already helped set up more than 10 FinTech companies that will create over 300 high quality jobs. The FinTech sector is an ideal example of interinstitutional cohesion and cooperation that bring multiple benefits to the domestic economy,' says Mantas Katinas, Director General of Invest Lithuania.
Additional measures are implemented to promote FinTech development in Lithuania, e.g. the opportunity for e-licensing will be offered already this year, and companies will be able to prepare all documents and procedures electronically. Conditions are being created for FinTech companies developing innovative financial products in Lithuania to test them in a regulatory sandbox, and for blockchain technology based services – in a special technological platform, which is one of the most prospective FinTech innovations.