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Boldness and Vision. Lithuania’s Unwavering Commitment to Redefine Financial Services in the Baltics and Beyond

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial technology, Vaiva Amulė stands as a driving force and visionary leader within the Lithuanian fintech ecosystem. As the Head of Fintech Hub LT, the largest association of licensed fintechs in Lithuania, she has played a pivotal role in spearheading the fintech movement, fostering ongoing dialogues with regulators and key industry players.

Recognized as the Fintech Leader of the Year 2023 Vaiva Amule’s relentless commitment to ensuring an adequate balance of regulatory compliance and innovation within the ecosystem has paved the way for a thriving fintech industry. In this exclusive interview, we delve into her insights, exploring the vital role fintechs play in transforming Lithuania, the Baltics, and the wider European financial landscape.

Where do you see Lithuania on the startup journey – are you a startup, scaleup, or a unicorn?

Lithuania’s startup ecosystem has transitioned from the startup to scale-up phase, rapidly gaining recognition in Europe. Despite its small population, Lithuania attracted €295 million in investment in 2022, making it the second-fastest-growing startup ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe. The ecosystem’s value has increased 17 times since 2017, reaching €9.5 billion. Additionally, 800 startups contributed €297 million to the Lithuanian budget in 2022, a 51% increase from the previous year. With a focus on sustainability and profitability, Lithuania’s startup ecosystem is poised for future success, attracting more investors.

How has the Lithuanian fintech industry evolved in the past few years, and what major trends have emerged?

In recent years, Lithuania’s fintech industry has become an integral part of the country’s economy showing resilience and attracting foreign investment. The electronic money and payments sector experienced notable growth in 2022, with a 1.6 times increase in licensed activity revenue compared to 2021, serving over 25 million clients. Lithuania currently has seven specialized banks, 87 electronic money institutions, and 51 payment institutions. Fintech companies in the country also secured a record financing of 67.9 million euros in 2021, accounting for 28% of total investments. Active policies, a strong ecosystem, collaboration and a culture of compliance and risk management and collaboration between institutions and the market have all contributed to the growth of our ecosystem.

Recommended for you: Get your copy of the Nordic Fintech Magazine Summer Edition 2023

What are some of the key success stories of Lithuanian fintech companies, and what do you think sets them apart from their competitors?

Lithuania’s fintech ecosystem has gained attention for its global fintech unicorns, including Revolut, SumUp, and NIUM. Alongside them, other Lithuanian fintech companies like ConnectPay, TransferGo, Paysera, Bankera, and Ondato have achieved remarkable success. These companies prioritize understanding customer needs and developing innovative solutions locally and abroad. They attract top talent globally due to favorable business conditions and government support. Lithuanian fintech companies succeed through innovation, customer focus, regulatory compliance, and strategic partnerships.

What opportunities do you see for collaboration between Lithuanian fintech companies and other players in the global fintech ecosystem?

Collaboration between Lithuanian fintech companies and global players offers opportunities for growth. One opportunity is leveraging expertise from fintech companies in different regions to expand into new markets. Collaboration with traditional financial institutions, such as banks, allows fintech companies to utilize existing infrastructure and customer base while offering innovative solutions. Working with government agencies and regulators fosters the development of policies that promote innovation, consumer protection, and financial stability. Overall, collaboration within the global fintech ecosystem drives innovation, market expansion, and better customer experiences.

What role do Lithuanian fintech companies play in shaping the future of finance, and what innovations are on the horizon?

Lithuanian fintechs are actively developing innovative products and technologies that combine classical finance with blockchain, in response to new European regulations like eIDAS and MiCA. This includes introducing decentralized finance protocols, promoting digital wallet adoption, and implementing new methods for customer identification.

They are also harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve lending decisions, and big data analytics to enable personalized investment recommendations. Our fintechs are not only disrupting the local market but markets in Europe and beyond.

Recommended for you: Get your copy of the Nordic Fintech Magazine Summer Edition 2023

How do you see the Lithuanian fintech industry evolving over the next few years, and what are the key drivers of this change?

Our fintech companies are driving advancements in areas like payments, lending, digital identity, and regulatory compliance. They are introducing cutting-edge products and services that enhance convenience, security, and efficiency for both businesses and consumers. Moreover, Lithuania’s fintech ecosystem fosters collaboration between startups, traditional financial institutions, regulators, and other stakeholders, creating a vibrant and dynamic environment that will continue to grow and innovate in the years to come.

NFM Publishing Team
NFM Publishing Team
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