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Experts on Lithuania’s growing fintech sector: “We are competitive, visible, and valued internationally.”

As the world increases the move into the digital space every year, the Lithuanian fintech sector plays an ever so important role. The number of licensed enterprises in this sector is steadily rising, innovative solutions are being developed, and their success is recognized both on local and global levels. Lithuania is attracting continuously more fintech companies, startups, and foreign investors, creating a vibrant ecosystem for financial technologies.

“Today, we have over 270 Fintech companies, and in terms of market size on a global scale, Lithuania ranks tenth. It is evident that we are an internationally recognized Fintech hub – a favorable regulatory environment, an innovation-promoting ecosystem, and highly qualified specialists are just a few reasons why this sector continues to grow successfully,” says Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė.

To enhance the potential of the Lithuanian fintech ecosystem and provide opportunities for its members to establish valuable international contacts, the Innovation Agency Lithuania, in collaboration with Rockit, Invest Lithuania, the Minister of Economy and Innovation and eight Lithuanian companies will participate in Money 20/20, an international exhibition in Amsterdam on June 4-6. This event brings together thousands of industry members from around the world.

“We have accumulated extensive experience in developing national displays at international exhibitions. We use this platform not only to showcase companies, but also to communicate Lithuania’s economic potential internationally. This includes highlighting business opportunities, spreading key messages about our market and fostering global partnerships. This approach undoubtedly helps attract attention and enables the companies at our booth to establish valuable contacts, which can later evolve into partnerships” says Simona Buziliauskienė, Head of the Market Development division at the Innovation Agency Lithuania

Business idea born at the exhibition

The annual conference attracts tech giants and startups alike, with over 8,000 visitors from 50 countries attending in 2023. This year, Lithuania is represented by eight financial technology companies: Ondato, DeRISK Business Solutions, Baltic Amadeus, Noviti, Neopay, Connect Pay, European Merchant Bank, and Paysera.

This year marks the tenth time Liudas Kanapienis, head of Ondato, is participating in the exhibition. He recalls that six years ago, during one such event, he conceived the idea of establishing an information services company. Starting off with automated compliance solutions, the company now offers 12 different products ranging from remote client recognition, authentication, verification, and data collection to personalized financial statements and financial risk management by identity verification in international databases or blacklists. According to the CEO, ideas for new products and company expansion abound.

“When first launching the business our primary client focus was on financial institutions, assuming they would be the most interested in our solution for verifying identity. However, we’ve also acquired customers working in shared economy, social media, and various other fields, located mostly in Western Europe and the Americas. „Currently, we have numerous ideas for future development; our product roadmap is already packed with enough new concepts and existing product enhancements for the next two years,” shares Kanapienis.

The entrepreneur describes Lithuania’s fintech sector as competitive, visible, and globally recognized. The solutions it develops are renowned and utilized the world over.

“We are quite modest people, us Lithuanians. This is admirable, on the one hand, as we demonstrate our worth through actions rather than words. However, sometimes it seems to me that we should learn to take more pride in ourselves and our home country. We should encourage and support each other because we are creating remarkable things here in Lithuania and they deserve recognition. We should showcase our achievements at exhibitions like this and stand tall with our heads held high,” encourages Kanapienis.

Investing in the Fintech industry has paid off

Sarp Demiray, CEO of European Merchant Bank (EMBank), also emphasizes Lithuania’s robust and rapidly expanding fintech ecosystem.

“Lithuania’s ongoing investment in the fintech industry development has undoubtedly yielded positive results, evident from the increasing number of licensed entities and the ecosystem’s global standing. However, to ensure sustainable growth in both quantity and quality, it is imperative to intensify our focus on the sector. This involves nurturing the competencies among local talent, establishing additional programs in higher education institutions, fostering knowledge exchange with other fintech hubs, and promoting collaboration between businesses and public authorities,” says S. Demiray.

The past year marked a period of unprecedented growth for this company, which commenced operations in Lithuania in 2019. The bank experienced substantial growth across all financial indicators and concluded the 2022-2023 fiscal year with a profit, boasting assets surpassing 150 million euros.  According to the CEO, these remarkable financial results were attained through flexibility and a modern approach to customer needs.

“The company is thriving, demonstrating strong financial performance and maturity. Despite encountering challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and global geopolitical turmoil affecting the economy, we have successfully navigated through them. We are advancing at a sustainable pace, continually investing in our risk management teams, tools, and systems. Besides, we are considering further development and constantly expanding our product and service range while upgrading quality,” shares the CEO.

EMBank provides a comprehensive array of services, including working capital and investment loans, lines of credit, overdrafts, and leasing solutions. Additionally, we offer a leasing service tailored for our business clients, enabling companies to conveniently invest in renewing their fleet of cars or commercial vehicles, as well as equipment or other machinery. For fintech companies, the bank offers the opportunity to open protective, separate, ant other types of accounts, make local and international payments (SEPA, TARGET2 and SWIFT) and savings options.

Their solutions are primarily employed in the Western European market and the United Kingdom. However, the bank also places considerable emphasis on the Lithuanian market. It actively engages in the local fintech community and provides support for various ecosystem events.

“I believe that participating in events uniting the fintech community is an excellent avenue to stay up to date with market developments, swap valuable insights with fellow entrepreneurs, and not only acquire new clients but also strengthen links with existing ones. Therefore, for the fourth consecutive year, we are participating in the Money 20/20 exhibition in Amsterdam. Our past experiences demonstrate that it is one of the premier fintech events globally, yielding substantial benefits. Each year, we secure numerous contracts with new customers, partners, and solution developers,” remarks Mr. Demiray.

NFM Publishing Team
NFM Publishing Team
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