We had another intensive period with many meetings with regulators and put an effort to provide you with key points - get some coffee and enjoy it!
In case you really busy - read at least "Update from the Bank of Lithuania" section or share this newsletter with your colleagues.
Last week our Payments Council group had a meeting and agreed on the following.
We invite you to raise your hand if you seek to help:
Titas to draft proposal regarding safeguarding client’s funds (analyse other countries practices, explain the problem, proposals)
Saulius to draft proposal for Payments Bank concept
Anna to draft proposal related to additional accounts for EMI/PI (Escrow, capital, security accounts, corresponding accounts, SEPA access for small Fintechs & UK companies)
The group will have the next meeting on the 18th of April, at 4 PM (LT time).
Last Monday we had a very productive meeting with our AML Group. The goal of the meeting was to ensure we are well prepared for the meeting with the Bank of Lithuania. The questions we raised:
Compliance regarding collecting information on a customer's connection with Lithuania - we believe it limits businesses growth and not always make sense.
Under what conditions source is considered reliable and independent? Which publicly available databases are considered reliable?
Use of an advanced electronic signature
In the last month, we received a few answers from the regulators. Unfortunately, they are inconcrete, but it is our obligation to share:
An official letter from BoL on the regulation of identification in relation to the right of financial institutions and other obliged entities to process customer biometric data and the answer from FIU on the usage of an electronic signature to identify the customer and the beneficiary remotely.
Clarification on customer identification using a driving license (BoL, FIU)
Titas Budrys & Vaiva Amulė represented our association at the Fintech Ecosystem Builders meeting. We discussed the Fintech LT plan, which is approved by the Parlament annually. After the discussions with Infobalt, Enterprise Lithuania and internally with our Board members we seek to add these KPIs to the plan. We will share the final version of the plan once it is approved by the Parlament.
We also found out that the Ministry of Economy and Innovation is preparing the RRF projects related to Fintech and blockchain. This encourages us to have a meeting with representatives to ensure that these future projects are beneficial for our members. Read the full summary of the meeting here.
Update from the Bank of Lithuania
On the 23rd of February, EMI&PI representatives had a meeting with the Bank of Lithuania. This is the most important quarterly event for Fintechs as BoL represents their new strategic goals and how they are planning to achieve these.
If you missed this meeting, please take some time to review the presentation.
The Bank of Lithuania has issued an overview of enterprise-wide risk assessments based on conclusions drawn from supervision and enterprise-wide risk assessment analysis of 20 financial market participants (banks, electronic money and payment institutions). Overview comprises requirements by Law, examples of good practices and areas for improvement.
Comprehensive risk assessment should allow each financial market participant to correctly identify and understand money laundering and (or) terrorism financing risks, take adequate risk mitigating measures and prioritize areas most vulnerable to money laundering and (or) terrorism financing. More details about the overview can be found here.
The regulator noticed that Fintechs make mistakes while filling fraud cases form. The form should be filled only if EMI, after a fraud investigation, decides not to refund the funds to the client. Please find the instructions here.
On the 26th of February, Andrius Merkelis, head of our AML group, represented our association at the Bank of Lithuania meeting with Compliance Officers.
Please review the meeting's presentation as BoL shared the recommendations for risk management. Meeting minutes here.
As we didn't have enough time to discuss all matters, we agreed with a Bank to have a separate roundtable or panel discussion about fraud cases.
Additionally, together with BoL, we agreed to work on guidelines/good and bad practices document related to transaction monitoring and examples of reliable international registers where UBO databases don't exist.
On the 2nd of March, we had another meeting with regulators were BoL presented their inspections plans and recommendations, while the State Tax Inspectorate (VMI)presented their concerns regarding EMI/PI reporting. Unfortunately, VMI in the end refused to share their presentation and ask to share this information instead:
Cyber Security is becoming a new buzzword. Both Bank of Lithuania and the State Tax Inspectorate mentioned it a few times and we can expect inspections related to it.
The Bank of Lithuania analysed 54 financial institutions and provided key findings. Please read it and ensure that you are secured.
The regulator is organizing an event "Information and Communication Technology and Security Risk Management Requirements" on the 25th of March, 10:00 AM (LT time). Please invite your security officers. Registration required. The event is held in Lithuanian language.
Sezzle Lithuania will expand the operations of the US-based company Sezzle Inc. in Europe. This institution intends to provide electronic money and payment services to merchants offering their goods on the Sezzle platform and their buyers.
Lux International Payment System is fully (100 %) owned by a Swedish citizen. In addition to issuing electronic money, providing currency exchange services and payment cards, Lux International Payment Systems also plans to expand its business in other European Union countries.
Following the assessment and proposal of the Bank of Lithuania, the European Central Bank (ECB) granted the Lithuanian capital company SME Digital Financing a specialised bank licence. They focus on the acceptance of deposits and the provision of loans.
Workshops will be led by Andrius Merkelis, Eglė Kontautaitė, Reda Stanytė, Laurynas Bagdonas, Enrika Masalskienė, etc. We will get a 25% discount from Standard Price for all courses if we arrange a group of 10+ participants. We already have received a few professionals who are willing to take the course,so please let us know if you are interested by the 15 of March. Otherwise, we can provide you with a 10% discount. Standard price/person:
We hope you are well and have some time to rest after the intensive reporting period in January.
We have a lot to share this week - get your coffee and enjoy reading!
The primary Payments Council will be working on two matters:
- Opening data in state registers - Ensuring the availability of cash in Lithuania
If you find that these questions are in your interest, please let us know till the 12th of February, and we will include you in the working groups, where together with our regulators and other market players you will be working on these questions.
During the last meeting of Payments Council, the European Commission's suggestions, Eurosystem payments strategy, and a market initiative called EPI were presented. Please find the presentations about the EU initiatives and CBDC and the meeting record for your convenience.
This week AML group representatives had a meeting with Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT/FIU). We had an amicable discussion and talked about customer identification process. We submitted a request for an explanation regarding our issues related to identification last year, while after this meeting, we expect to receive the guidelines.
Additionally, the AML group continues to work on a data-sharing system for our association members and submitted a document to regulators to ensure that our project is in line with the law.
Last week we had a successful event "AI & Fintech (mis)Match". Our Members' Simplex and ConnectPay representatives Natanel Kabala & Thibaud Catry presented Fintech perspective on this panel, while Vaiva Amulė led the panel. The discussion was viewed by nearly 500 people and received very positive feedback afterwards. Watch it here.
Titas Budrys & Vaiva Amulė represented our association at Fintech Ecosystem Builders meeting, where players overviewed their actions in Fintech area. Read the full summary of the meeting here.
Our next event will be organized together with ABFintech association, which is the biggest Fintech Association in Brazil. They organize an annual conference "Fintouch", which will take place on March 10-11. We have slot there for a panel discussion with a goal to present Lithuania. If Brazil is in your target list and you are willing to present yourself there please drop us a line till the 15th of February.
Many of you expressed a willingness to participate in our future events and general external communication. Please provide your communication managers contacts so we could create a separate groupfor this matter.
Update from the Bank of Lithuania
Bank of Lithuania noticed that some of us make mistakes while submitting quarterly reports. This encouraged the regulator to prepare data submission guidelines. A final version of guidelines can be reviewed here. It will be published on the Bank of Lithuania website under guidelines section later this week. The Bank of Lithuania didn't reflect all market's suggestions, while its reasoning can be reviewed here.
Bank of Lithuania organizes a meeting with Compliance Officers to find possible solutions/suggestions regarding identification, AML/TF risk assessments & other related issues. A roundtable discussion will take place on the 26th of February 9:30-12:00 (GMT +2). Andrius Merkelis, our AML group lead, will be representing our association at this meeting. He will organize a call with our AML group participants before the roundtable discussion to ensure that all issues are covered.
On the 15th of February 13:00-15:00 (GMT +2), the Bank of Lithuania organizes another informative meeting with Fintechs. The agenda of this meeting is:
The European Commission's Digital Finance Strategy
TARGET2 and T2S Consolidation Project: Objectives and Deadlines
Mandatory SCT Inst availability via TIPS
CENTROlink system and PLS service development plans
Everyone is invited to participate in this meeting.
Tightening money laundering and terrorist financing regulations raise certain problems and questions for both financial institutions and their customers. To help manage those concerns, the Bank of Lithuania has issued recommendations:
Financial institutions are encouraged to provide detailed explanations for their customers on the requested information and documentation,
Take proportionate measures with the objective to ensure compliance with AML/CTF Laws.
Financial institutions should also ensure that the customer is asked as much information as needed to properly evaluate and manage AML/CTF risks and be certain that the customer is able to provide that information.
Workshops will be led by Andrius Merkelis, Eglė Kontautaitė, Reda Stanytė, Laurynas Bagdonas, Enrika Masalskienė, etc. We will get 25% discount from Standard Price for all courses if we arrange a group of 10+ participants, so please let us know if you are interested. Otherwise, we can provide you 10% discount. Standard price/person:
Kaunas University of Technology calls for business support!
„SKILLed FinTech“ is an educational program launched by the Kaunas University of Technology for motivated students who are willing to acquire strong competencies in the field of financial technologies. For the program to have the real-life application, the university calls for business support in program development, sharing practical knowledge during the lectures and mentorship for students. Financial support for students would also be highly appreciated. The collected funds would be transferred to students as a scholarship on a monthly basis.
Read more about the program and benefits to your business and contact university if you are interested.
News from Sponsors
HyperOps, a Lithuanian IT company providing maintenance and infrastructure solutions for critical IT systems, has launched a multifunctional DevOps as a Service solution. The service is provided through a fully integrated platform and is aimed at organizations where the core business is dependent on digital systems, including financial service providers, e-commerce, data processing companies and mobile app developers. This solution is created to save valuable IT staff time, reduce human errors, and help implement updates without downtime. Read more.
Fintech Hub LT Newsletter is published almost every week to share the latest industry insights and inform our members on news of the association, upcoming events and projects!
Last week was all about our members' meeting - thank you all for active participation - it was great to see everyone even though only online. Additionally, last Friday, our Head of Association, Vaiva Amulė, made a presentation about our association, its goals and activities to Rockit community, while this week, the Board started working on concrete Action Plan for this year.
Last week Fintech Hub LT held its first members' meeting of 2021. For those who could not attend the meeting, please find the slides of the event.
Fintech Hub LT has re-evaluated its goals and presented the new ones for 2021. We will continue working with regulators, seek to improve the Fintech ecosystem's perception and serve as a platform for knowledge sharing.
Please include your communication managers to our communication lists to ensure better visibility of your company. I am sure that together we can organise more relevant events, write & publish articles, use our social media in full and much more.
The Board Members of the association also introduced a self-regulatory framework to its members. A self-regulation checklist & questionnaire for all existing and new Fintech Hub LT members will be prepared by the Board Members and the AML Working group, led by Andrius Merkelis. It will include an extended due diligence questionnaire in areas of AML/ CTF, GDPR, tax and similar, and annual compliance requirements checklist based on current regulations. The self-regulation framework shall also encourage the members to use and enforce the Code of Ethics. Every member will be asked to sign the Code of Ethics in the upcoming week. Fintech Hub LT calls for all members' adherence and commitment to ensure compliance and support for fellow members.
The self-regulation shall give comfort to members, Bank of Lithuania, ensuring implementation of regulatory requirements and best industry standards among members.
After the law changes related to driving licenses, many of us had some questions on interpreting it in real-life situations. Our AML Group prepared a document to the regulators and asked for the guidance. You can review the document here. We hope to get the answer soon and share the explanations with you as soon as possible.
We are happy to see that our working group for Payments Council have moved to a different level! On the 15th of January, we had a first working group meeting, welcomed all group members, and explained this group's goals. Happy to see such energy! We definitely can do much together!
This Wednesday part of the group participated at the general Payments Council meeting, where Bank of Lithuania representatives presented the EU initiatives related to payments. We will share the presentation and recording of the meeting once we have them.
The next working meeting will be initiated by our Payments Council co-group leaders Saulius Racevičius, Board member, Titas Budrys, chairman of our association & Anna Pavlovska,Executive Vice President of VIALET.
Update from the Bank of Lithuania
Bank of Lithuania announced the financial market participant inspection plan for 2021. The inspection plan is available here.
During our meeting with the regulator in December, the Bank of Lithuania's management provided clear recommendations to us. Please review these once again, especially if you are on the inspection list to ensure you are well prepared for it.
The inspections will largely focus on risk management, compliance with internal control requirements and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing regulations, and quality assurance.
In addition to targeted inspections, investigations and document analysis, representatives of the Financial Market Supervision Service will also conduct on-site visits to collect information and provide consultations and methodological assistance.
Bank of Lithuania noticed that some of us make mistakes while submitting quarterly reports. This encouraged the regulator to prepare data submission guidelines. The guideline should answer the most frequent questions and doubts while submitting quarterly reports, as required by the regulations (English version).
If you have some suggestions or questions related to the quarterly reporting, please let us know until 1st of February 2021. We will ensure that these are included and answered in their guidelines. We, of course, will share the guideline as soon as we have it.
The Financial Market Supervisory Authority of the Bank of Lithuania continues the annual tradition, and on 23rd of February, 10:30 AM (GMT +2) organizes the Annual Meeting with Representatives of Electronic Money Institutions and Payment Institutions. During the event, the Director of the Office Jekaterina Govina and the Head of the Payment Market Supervision Division Rūta Merkevičiūtė will review 2017-2020 strategy results, overview payments market situation, present 2021-2024 strategic directions and tell us what have they planned for 2021.
This online event will be held in Lithuanian & should take 1.5 hours. Registration is open until February 15. Please note that due to the limited access of participants to the event broadcast, the registration will be approved for a maximum of two company representatives, giving priority to the registration date. We encourage you to submit your questions or topics for possible discussion when filling out the registration form.
If you have recently received a license from the Bank of Lithuania, we invite you to respond to an anonymous survey on the licensing process experience. This will help future applicators have a better experience and, therefore, ensure the Fintech ecosystem's growth in Lithuania.
We hope you had a good festive time and started 2021 with a flash of positive energy.
In case you missed any of our newsletters, you can always find all in one place.
As we turn the page on a less than memorable year, it’s important not to banish everything that happened to the same corner of our mind where 2020 will rest. With this in mind, we are preparing for our so needed members meeting next week. I hope you all received the invitation from us - in case you didn't, please let us know!
Fintech Hub LT online members meeting will take place on 21st of January, 16:00. We will overview our challenges and achievements of the last year, present our new goals, while new members will have the opportunity to introduce themselves. Nothing too serious - just a nice catch-up! In case you want 5 minutes of this meeting or think that some agenda items should be added - please let us know.
This week is full of meetings for Fintech Hub LT Board. We had a meeting with a new Lithuania Bank Association President Eivile Cipkute, two Board meetings, and some international Catch Ups.
We also want to congratulate our member Ondato on raising $2 million in seed funding from Startup Wise Guys and OTB Ventures, two investors that focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Congratulation - well deserved!
We are happy to see that our working group for Payments Council have moved to a different level! Thank you for supporting and willingness to achieve goals which are all important to us. More than 15 of our members joined our Payments Council working group! It is clear that with this energy and cooperation, we will achieve the best possible results.
We split it into co-working groups to ensure its effectiveness.
The first co-group will be working on Payments Bank concept and for simplicity will be called Payments Bank group. Representatives from companies like Railsbank, Paysera, VIALET, Paystrax, ECOVIS ProventusLaw will be working together while led by Saulius Racevičius, our Board Member.
The second co-group will be working on increasing the options to protect EMI/ PI clients' funds and is called Funds Protection group. This group will be led by Titas Budrys, our chairman of the Board. Thanks to representatives from companies like Zen, Interpaylink, ConnectPay, Transactive Systems, Guru Pay, VIALET, Paysera, Railsbank and Wallter, joining the group with such enthusiasm!
The last group is designed to expand the options of types of accounts, that can be opened by EMIs and is called EMIs Accounts. Thanks to Anna Pavlovska,Executive Vice President of VIALET, who agreed to lead this group.
All three co-groups will be overviewed by Saulius Racevičius, who represents our association at Payments Council.
The first meeting will take place this Friday (Jan 15), at 3 PM. In case you want to join, but missed our invitation, please jump on the train till you can!
After our presentation at Rockit event "Wrap up of 2020: Fintech Scene in Lithuania" we received interest from international media and were together with our faster-growing members mentioned in Fintech Baltic. It was a nice Christmas gift for us.
Our member, Rokas Stravinskas, Head of AML at Travel Union studies MBA at ISM and writes an interesting piece of paper on the impact of regulatory compliance on the activities sustainability of Fintech companies. As most of you know, data is essential for the analysis. We invite all EMI/PI managers, including managers of departments and compliance specialists, to fill his survey.
Rokas promised to share the finding with us - I am sure it will be an interesting one to see! The higher the number of respondents from both the market, the more accurate and useful the survey results will be for everyone!
Update from the Bank of Lithuania
The Board of the Bank of Lithuania granted WITTY GLOBAL, UAB an electronic money institution licence. The institution’s direct shareholder (holding 100% of its shares) is Witty Tech Ltd, a company registered in the United Kingdom.
The Bank of Lithuania also granted Safe Connect, UAB a payment institution licence. The institution intends to operate in a similar manner as Safe Connect Ltd, an institution licensed in the United Kingdom, by offering open banking as well as account information and payment initiation services. The institution’s direct shareholder (holding 100% of its shares) is Yapily Ltd., a company registered in the United Kingdom, whose main shareholders are from Italy, Germany and the Guernsey island.
Since the beginning of this year, the Bank of Lithuania has changed the fees applied to CENTROlink services. It is committed to taking a more rigorous approach in assessing payment service providers and their management reputation.
During the course of 2020, more than 95 million payments (compared to 43 million in 2019) were made within CENTROlink, with their value reaching almost €170 billion (in 2019 – €88 billion). CENTROlink services are currently used by 136 payment service providers established in 14 European Economic Area (EEA) countries (in 2019 – 103 entities). Read more.
Your colleagues Qatar Fintech Hub invites all our members to participate at Qatar’s FinTech Accelerator Programs. Up to 30 FinTechs (10 to 15 each for incubator and accelerator) will be selected to participate in a rigorous, 12-week program starting in March 2021. A winner will receive financial support of up to 250,00 USD. Find out more here.
You are also invited to join their Demo Day on 18th of January, 11:00. Demo Day will host key players from Qatar’s financial services ecosystem who participated at the first part of accelerator and incubator, in addition to investors, global startups and FinTech hubs, local and global University students, and FinTech enthusiasts.
This is the last newsletter this year. Please read it in full as it covers the key notes from our meeting with the Bank of Lithuania, changes in the regulations, important notes from Payments Council, etc.
First of all, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! As 2020 comes to a close and we all set our eyes on the year ahead and reflect the past 12 months. In the midst of challenges, fintechs often find ways to adapt by making tiny transformations. Let technologies and innovations move us next year to the better version of us! Fintech Hub LT is more committed than ever and we will keep a pace by stepping small steps making your life easier.
Update from the Board
Last week we had a few important events: meeting with Bank of Lithuania, Board & AML Group of Fintech Hub LT meetings, received some important invitation from Payments Council & represented our association at Rockit event. Read & enjoy it, as we summarised it in great detail to save your expensive time.
Last week Fintech Hub LT had the Board meeting. The self-regulation as an option to ensure compliance of our members was discussed. We will present our goals to the members early next year. Save the date - 21 of January, 16:00!
AML Group continues to work on AML data-sharing infrastructure & performed legal review related to GDPR. The information which we submit to the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT) should/could be shared via members.
During the Payments Council meeting and Bank of Lithuania consultations, the Payment Bank was identified as an opportunity to provide payment services and ensure the protection of customers' funds. It was noticed by the Bank of Lithuania that the approach to a specialized bank focused on payment services is now easing.
The Payments Council asked us to examine the possibilities of the payment bank in detail, suggesting conducting the analysis and presenting the results at the Council meeting. We welcome all interested parties to create an internal working group. Please contact us if you are willing to join by 8th of January. Your participation is vital.
The possibilities to increase the options to protect the funds of EMI/ PI clients
The EC is planning a revision of the Deposit Insurance Directive. The working groups of the EC discuss the possibilities to insure EMI/PI customers funds and include such accounts in the scope of deposit insurance. The EC also plans to review the PSD2 and EMD directives, which set out requirements for the protection of clients' funds. Questions about where customer funds can be stored could be addressed in the context of the review of these directives. The Payments Council proposed to conduct the analysis on the above matter and present the results to the Council. Please join the working group by contacting us till 8th of January.
The Board Members of Fintech Hub LT had a meeting with the Bank of Lithuania on 17th of December. The goal of this meeting was to understand the position of BoF regarding Fintechs and see how we can manage risks & solve arising issues in collaboration.
During the meeting, we discussed the Risk management and opportunity for Fintech Hub LT to have a self-regulatory mechanism. The Bank of Lithuania welcomed this idea. We agreed to come back with some suggestions early next year.
Safeguarding of the clients' funds was a topic to discuss. The Bank of Lithuania noted that they work both nationally and internationally with a goal to increase the opportunities for companies to protect clients' funds in other currencies in branches of foreign credit institutions established in the EU. This question is also included in the Fintech LT plan which is reviewed & approved by the Parlament each year. Unfortunately, we can't expect safeguard clients' funds in USA dollars in Lithuania (via CentroLink) in near future.
The Financial Market Supervisory Authority of the Bank of Lithuania provided KEYrecommendations for the members of our association:
- goodwill is the key. Always communicate in this manner with BoL
- ask employees of the Financial Market Supervisory Authority if you are unsure how to act - they are there to help & willing to advise.
The Bank of Lithuania seeks to push fintechs to the next maturity level. To reach this they will continue inspecting EMIs/PIs and next year will check if:
- the internal control and governance systems are reliable
- internal audit functions adequately to the activities of the company
- you have all required agreements with banks & other measures to ensure the protection of your client funds (agreements with the banks will be checked in great detail)
- you ensure segregation and storage of customer funds, have appropriate procedures for that & correctly calculated capital.
New inspection plan will be published in January.
They seek to ensure the Fintech ecosystem in Lithuania is matured, and they measure maturity by looking at:
- governance and compliance culture
- financial health - the capital adequacy
- the safeguarding of clients funds
- activities under the issued license only
- AML/CTF risk management
- resilience to IT/cyber risks
One of the main questions we asked was "What is your strategy?". Marius Jurgilas, the Board member of Bank of Lithuania, noted that strategic goals for the next period are not yet approved, but provided three key directions:
- digitization of the financial sector
- sustainability of the market (green finance, climate change problems, the maturity of the market, etc.)
- raise the value of the financial market (set the risk appetite, quality instead of quantity)
The strategy will be finalized and published in February.
Vaiva Amulė, Head of Fintech Hub LT last week represented our association at Rockit event "Wrap up of 2020: Fintech Scene in Lithuania". It was a good opportunity to reflect the last year for our community. The Bank of Lithuania just published the data on EMI's & PI's Q3 performance, while Vaiva analysed it in great detail. She also covers the fines and its impact on fintechs. If you missed it: review her presentation and watch the recording of the event.
It is amazing to see that 9 out of 10 top fastest-growing fintechs in terms of income are members of our association! Congratulations!
News from the Parlament
A few weeks ago we noted, that a Committee on Budget and Finance has passed important projects on the law changes for voting. Happy to say that all were approved by the Parlament!
1. Legal entities will be allowed to invest through P2P lending platforms. Project & law changes for your convenience.
2. Newly established companies will be allowed to open accountsat credit or electronic money institutions. You can review changes to the law here.
3. Driving licenses will be seen as an appropriate document for customer identification. The law project and order for your review.
Update from the Bank of Lithuania
December 31, 2020, is the deadline by which the payment market must be prepared to apply the SCA requirements when transactions are made with the payment card in online stores in the European Union.
The Bank of Lithuania assessed the market readiness and took into account the interests of e-commerce need to optimize the application of the 3DS 2.x protocol in practice. The Bank of Lithuania decided to apply three months transition period during which the following transaction ceilings allow PSD2 / SCA card requirements’ exemptions for online payments:
Until January 31 - payments up to a value of EUR 500;
Until February 28 - payments up to EUR 250;
Until March 31 - for payments not exceeding EUR 100.
Note that, the payer's payment service provider should properly inform its customers how it intends to process online payment card transactions after 31 December 2020.
We also remind you that the provisions of Section 39 (4) of the Payments Act apply to transactions that have not been subject to SCA.
If you have any questions regarding the above information, please contact Šarūnas Grigas, Head of the Operational and IT Risk Department of the Bank of Lithuania. @ SGrigas@lb.lt. Read more.
The Bank of Lithuania approved UAB Revolut Payment request not to apply more secure authentication to legal entities under the derogation provided by the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/389. Finding that Revolut Payments UAB's electronic payment transaction initiation processes ensure a level of security not lower than by the Law, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority allowed this company not to apply more secure authentication to legal entities initiating electronic payment transactions using special payment processes. Read more. We thought it worth sharing it, as some of you had similar challenges.
The Board of the Bank of Lithuania issued an electronic money institution licence to UAB STANHOPE FINANCIAL. The institution will provide services to legal entities (mainly small and medium businesses), offer e-wallets as an alternative to a bank account, enable customers to accept and make domestic and cross-border payments as well as issue payment cards. All 100% of this institution’s shares are held by the holding company Stanhope Financial Limited established in Ireland. UAB STANHOPE FINANCIAL is managed by Laurynas Noreika, who is also the CEO of HeavyFinance. More.
We know that some of you missed Singapore Fintech Festival. It is impossible to watch hundreds of sessions within a week. In case you missed any of them, you are able to access session recordings organised nicely into 14 themes, anytime on YouTube. No log-in required. The sessions are available on their YouTube channel.
TOP 3 most-watched sessions:
1. Bill Gates - Building infrastructure for resilience: What the COVID-19 response can teach us about how to scale financial inclusion. WATCH NOW >
2. Raghuram Rajan - The Road to Global recovery: a special focus on SMEs. Digital Finance, Digitalisation and digital policies - distinguished economist's insights. WATCH NOW >
3. Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft - Resilience and the Future of Digital Transformation. WATCH NOW >
Fintech Hub LT
Mėsinių st. 5, Vilnius Lithuania
You received this email because you the member of Fintech Hub LT association.
This week is all about Singapore Fintech Festival. Use the tickets we have in full, network & watch live keynotes and panels. You missed Gill Gate keynote yesterday, but you can listen & network with others today & tomorrow.
We also have some news from our Board, Payments Council & Bank of Lithuania.
We are thrilled to announce we have two new members, B4B Payments & Paydoo Payments!
UAB B4B Payments Europe belongs to Payment Card Solutions Group Ltd (UK) and uses the group trademark B4B Payments. The envisaged business model of the institution is related to the group’s current activities, i.e. the provision of pre-paid cards and the integrated expense management platform to business customers. The company last week got the electronic money institution licence from the Bank of Lithuania. Congratulations!
UABPaydoo Payments is the second company which received EMI licence from the Bank of Lithuania and holds it from 2015. Paydoo Payments has established a global footprint with over 40 employees across its offices in Riga, Vilnius, New York & Connecticut (United States). Founded by Sam Kohli, Paydoo is built on the foundations of innovation, collaboration, trust, and community. Welcome on board!
Happy to see the growth! In the last year, our association grew from 37 to 45 members. 42 from the list are licenced, 37 have EMI licences & represent more than half of all EMIs in Lithuania. We have the power, and we should use it wisely!
Inga Karulaitytė, Fintech Hub LT Board member last week represented our association in international waters and together with industry experts discussed insights on how fintechs and payment firms are preparing for the impact of Brexit. The event was organized by Pre Paid Forum (PIF) - the not-for-profit industry body, based in London, that represents organisations who are regulated under e-money and payment services legislation.
Last week Saulius Racevičius, Board member of our association, represented us at the Payment Council. It was a very interesting meeting led by Marius Jurgilas, Board member of the Bank of Lithuania, with topics like availability of payment services, opening data at state registers, the possibilities for new means of identification and compliance issues for the prevention of money laundering.
Explore the minutes of this meeting - it really helps to feel the vibe and keep up-to-date.
Cooperation with Bank of Lithuania
The Board Members of Fintech Hub LT has scheduled a meeting with the Bank of Lithuania on 17th of December. The goal of this meeting is to understand the position of BoF regarding Fintechs and see how we can manage risks & solve arising issues in cooperation. Marius Jurgilas, Jekaterina Govina, Rūta Merkevičiūtė, Vilija Petronienė, Eglė Kontautaitė, Algirdas Neciunskas, Asta Taukuvienė, Lina Stravinskytė and Dovilė Arlauskaitė will be representing BoL at this meeting.
Continuing good practice, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority of the Bank of Lithuania invites all financial market participants to express the need for the Authority's training or consultations that should be organized in 2021. Training and consultations help us to manage our risks. We strongly encourage you to submit suggestions and wishes till 16th of December. Let them know what hurts & where we want to improve.
Additionally, the Bank of Lithuania to further develop cooperation with market participants will hold a meeting with representatives of electronic money institutions, payment institutions and associations in the sector in February. During the meeting, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority's 2020 report and plans for 2021 will be presented. We invite you to provide relevant topics to be discussed during this meeting and questions you would like to be answered.
The silence from us can be seen as ignorance - let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.
Fintech Hub LT
Mėsinių st. 5, Vilnius Lithuania
You received this email because your company is part of Fintech Hub LT association.
The last month of the year came - we wish it to be fruitful, calm & bright! Another issue of FintechHubLT Newsletter is here & we are sure you will find it useful.
The Committee on Budget and Finance has finally passed the projects regarding P2P lending platforms, driving licenses for identification & accounts opening for newly established companies. Enjoy reading about it below & now some important news from the Board of the Association.
Update from the Board
Fintech Hub LT last week participated at Fintech Ecosystem Builders monthly meeting. Short snapshot from the meeting:
- the Ministry of Economy and Innovation is planning to dedicate some funds from the DNR pool on expanding the network of investors (EdTech, GameTech, FinTech)
- Vilnius University is creating VU Fintech Lab
- Invest Lithuania is targeting USA market
The minutes of the meeting are not very detailed but can be found here.We will update you on the DNR funds & other important parts once we get some information.
Close cooperation with the Bank of Lithuania and other relevant state institutions is essential to us. The main goal of the Board for this month is to arrange a meeting with the Bank of Lithuania and discuss the following topics.
1.Did the Bank of Lithuania changed its Supervision and Development Strategy of Fintechs? The position of the Bank of Lithuania regarding Fintechs is not completely clear. The regulator is tightening supervisory requirements, often imposes penalties. It has a significant impact on our activities: correspondent banks refuse to work with Lithuanian Fintech companies (de-risking), which limits the profitability and ability to attract financing, etc.
2. Risk management. The Fintech Hub LT Association wants to contribute to Fintechs risk management. The Association has initiated the development of a Customer Data Sharing Infrastructure to assist members of the Association in managing risks related to money laundering and terrorist financing.
Questions to BoL: How can the Fintech Hub LT association/market help with risk management? How can we contribute to the activities of the Centre of Excellence in AML (AML Center)?
3.Strengthening the protection of customers' funds of e-money institutions, and extension of options (funds insurance, protection of funds at the Bank of Lithuania in other currencies).
4. Extension of access to the infrastructure for financial market participants (SWIFT, TARGET2, FPS, BACS, other currencies)
As mentioned last week, our association is taking an active role in the Payments Council led by the Bank of Lithuania & Ministry of Finance and provided 4 payment-related issues/topics for the next year. ALL proposed topics will be reviewed on the 3rd of December by the members of the Payments Council. Additionally, this year achievements of some working groups will be presented there too. You can find some interesting statistics/information in their presentations:
1. The Ministry of Finance will present the developing tools to encourage an open ecosystem for non-cash payments in educational institutions.
2. The Bank of Lithuania will tell about the progress in implementing the Open Banking recommendations.
3. The Bank of Lithuania will brief on the progress of implementation of the Instant payments recommendations.
A Committee on Budget and Finance with a new lead Mykolas Majauskas has approved important projects on the law changes:
1. The Law on Consumer Credit. Legal entities will be allowed to invest through P2P lending platforms.
2. Amendment to the Law on Companies. Newly established companies will be allowed to open accounts not only at banks but also at electronic money institutions.
3. Amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Driving licenses will be seen as an appropriate document for customer identification. It is an achievement for us as these changes were initiated by our association!
These changes are significant to our members and would make a positive impact on their business. Let us hope that the Members of the Parliament will approve it. We will update you as soon as we get more information on this.
Other relevant news
Following the assessment and proposal of the Bank of Lithuania, the European Central Bank (ECB) granted Crius LT, UAB a specialised bank licence.
The investor behind Crius LT, UAB is Igor Rintel, an entrepreneur from Slovakia. Mr Rintel also controls Trust Pay, a.s. – a licensed payment institution specialising in e-commerce payments. More.
Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra has been rebranded “Diem” in a renewed effort to gain regulatory approval by stressing the project’s independence. The original name was tied to an early iteration of the project that received a difficult reception from regulators.
European Payments Council this week published the first version of the SEPA Request-To-Pay (RTP) scheme rulebook. The SRTP scheme covers the set of operating rules and technical elements (including messages) that allow a Payee to request the initiation of a payment from a Payer in a wide range of physical or online use cases. Find out more here.
Fintech Hub LT
Mėsinių st. 5, Vilnius Lithuania
You received this email because your company is part of Fintech Hub LT association.
Welcome to another issue of FintechHubLT Newsletter. This week's top news feature AML sharing infrastructure for our members only, and some news regarding changes in complains law. Finally, don't forget the upcoming Singapore Fintech Festival - get your seat free of charge. Enjoy!
Sharing is Caring. We want to provide you with the essentials to stay cutting edge with your fintech. Don't neglect to share your news with us & all members - cooperation holds the future, while this newsletter is a good platform for that.
Fintech Hub LT Board members & co
Update from the Board
We have some exciting news to share! Last week Fintech Hub LT AML group decided to create a platform for sharing suspicious AML cases between members. Ondato offered to create an infrastructure which, once implemented, would allow our members to share relative information while ensuring GDPR & other relative laws. This would be a modern form of fighting against money laundering and terrorist financing, bringing together the efforts of the members of the association. AML is the key for effective risk management while joining efforts we can achieve better efficiency. We will update you on the progress!
For your convenience, we also decided to improve our "For Member" zone. From now on, you can find, in separate sections, all previous newsletters & past/upcoming events. In the future, you will also find updates regarding new laws there. This section will be accessible only for members. Follow our communication and get your membership access.
Our association is taking an active role in the Payment Council led by the Bank of Lithuania & Ministry of Finance and provided 4 payment-related issues/topics for the next year.
1. Expand insurance options for electronic money institutions (EMI) and payment institution (PM) customers. Allow EMIs/PIs join a national deposit insurance scheme in Lithuania.
2. Increasing the number of types of accounts that an EMI can open for its customers. Saving Accounts were recently added, but we propose to add others, such as escrow.
3. Amend the Law on Electronic Money Institutions and allow the safeguarding of clients’ funds “within credit institutions at other reliable countries outside the EEA” in addition to currently allowed central banks and credit institutions (or in liquid investments or insured funds).
4. Allow EMIs/PIs to keep their clients’ funds in other currencies than just in EUR within the central bank accounts, starting with the other European Union currencies and British pounds.
We will try to sell these topics to the Payments Council & will update you once we have some feedback from them.
Cooperation with the Bank of Lithuania
The Bank of Lithuania prepared a project regarding the rules for the examination of complaints received by financial market participants. We have a privilege to provide our comments and proposed amendments before it's approved.
The Board of the Association reviewed the suggested changes in the law and provided some comments. Still, it is far more important for you to provide your as it would have a direct impact on your processes & employees' workload. Please note your thoughts here.
Cooperation with the EBA
The European Banking Authority (EBA) launched a public consultation to propose revising the Guidelines on major incident reporting under the Payment Service Directive (PSD2). The proposal aims at optimising and simplifying the reporting process, capturing additional relevant security incidents, reducing the number of operational incidents that will be reported, and improving the meaningfulness of the incident reports received. We invite you to provide your comments & suggestions here till 14 December 2020.
The Lithuanian government has passed a legal amendment allowing foreign nationals to obtain the status of e-resident starting January 2021.
E-residents will receive a digital identity identification that will give them online access to a range of administrative, public, and commercial services. These will be able to set up companies, open bank accounts and declare taxes online. Read more.
Be reminded that Fintech Hub LT will be participating at Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF). MITA sponsors participation. We will have our FREE OF CHARGE digital booth under National Pavilion as co-exhibitors.
The organizers allowed us to share our tickets in time between our members. This event is not just for those you are interested in Asia, the event is global, with 40+ separate events in the USA, Europe, Africa etc. We have 5 days, 24 hours to split between ourselves. In other words, if you want to participate at SFFfree of charge for an hour or day, please contact us till 2nd of December. The participation at the event would allow you:
- present your company at Lithuania Pavilion at SFF virtual expo
- network with 80K+ global attendees via chat or video calls
- watch world-class content from all around the world created by 800 Speakers
Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) organises aWorkshop for Fintech Ecosystem and invites us to join. The online workshop is designed to discuss blockchain challenges that arise in the Lithuanian Fintech industry and present scientific solutions.
The online (via Zoom) event will take place on 26-27 November 2020. Registration is necessary. More
Fintech Hub LT
Mėsinių st. 5, Vilnius Lithuania
You received this email because your company is part of Fintech Hub LT association.
We hope you are all well & healthy. A new week a new issue of FintechHubLT newsletter. This week we have a selection of interesting news & updates about Fintech Ecosystem in Lithuania & Fintech Hub LT activities. Bank of Lithuania announced about changes, ECB published a report about Digital Euro, while KTU is planning to have a new Fintech undergraduate program. That was a small excerpt from this week's issue - enjoy reading!
Fintech Hub LT Board members & co
Update from the Board
Our AML group participated in the discussions regarding the SumUp proposal to the regulators. They suggest to extend the list of remote identification methods and change the limit on electronic money in the case of simplified identification. You can find the minutes of the meeting here. If we want the laws to be changed, we need to provide the statistical data to the regulator.
Saulius Racevičius (Board Member) participates in the Payment Board (Mokėjimų Taryba) meetings. This Board includes members from various institutions and companies and is led by the Bank of Lithuania. The Payments Board has been dealing with main issues and is trying to adjust law or similar level legal acts. We encourage you to provide some topic/questions for next year discussions. Note your thoughts here.
As you can see we have a very active AML group with Andrius Merkelis behind the wheel. They talk with regulators regularly and organized a few very formative events in the past months. AML is the key for every Fintech - join the group or add your Compliance Manager (email@example.com).
Last week we asked if you have any questions to BoL. We are sure you missed it - note your questions here.
News from the Bank of Lithuania
Structure and name of the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania have changed. Financial market development trends determined these changes. Now the Supervision Service is called the Financial Market Supervision Service. Last week BoL presented the changes in detail. If you missed the event, review the presentation here.
This week, the Board of the BoLissued electronic money institutionlicences to FIDELIS EUROPE, UAB, and DiPocket, UAB, authorising them to issue electronic money and provide payment services outlined in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Payments. Following Brexit, the activities of two UK-based companies will be transferred to these licensed institutions. See more here.
The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which also includes the Bank of Lithuania, is inviting applications from companies to test innovative financial products, services, business models or regulatory technology across more than one country or jurisdiction.
This is a great opportunity for fintechs that plan to offer innovative services or products across more than one country. Together with other supervisory authorities, it can help solve your issues and concerns. Fill the single-entry application form here or find out more.
The European Central Bankis examining the possibility of issuing a digital euro and has published a report. The ECB consults the public on the features, impact, etc. of the digital euro. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the ECB's questionnaire. They have some inspiring questions - don't miss the opportunity to have some impact on the future!
Titas & Liudas on the Stage
TODAY 11:15 our member Liudas Kanapienis (Ondato) and chairman of the Board Titas Budrys will be participating at Grand Finale - Mastercard Lighthouse Day 2020. They will reveal if, in the pandemic-burdened world, companies across the fintech sector offer answers (and to some, a sense of peace) to those wrestling with today’s new set of problems. Marius Jurgilas, Jekaterina Govina, Rolands Mesters (CEO, Nordigen), Remy Salters (CFO at Swedbank Lithuania) and others will be speaking there - stay on top. Date: November 19, 2020, 9:00 Register: here
Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) is planning to launch a un undergraduate program "Financial Matechatics & Technologies". It will be presented to the Board of Directors of KTU in few weeks for approval. Take a look at the program and provide some feedback - that would help to improve and ensure highly skilled personnel for the future. The goals of the program are well-thought, but without feedback from the industry, they can be another paper in the drawer.
We are pleased to announce that Railsbank (PayrNet) joined our crew! It is our privilege to have you on board! UAB PayrNet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Railsbank that holds the regulated financial services licenses and payment scheme memberships for Railsbank.
Customers contract with Railsbank allows marketers, product managers, developers, CEOs, and founders to rapidly prototype, launch and scale financial products using its open finance platform, operations, regulatory licensing and rich set of simple APIs.
Be reminded that Fintech Hub LT will be participating at Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF). Participation is sponsored by MITA. We will have our digital booth under National Pavilion as co-exhibitors. We have two tickets for the conference and will be able to explore Online Networking via SFF platform and present our Hub at the booth. If you are willing to be a part of it and be included in the marketing material, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaunas University of Technology as a partner of European Commission H2020 FinTech project organises a Workshop for the Bank of Lithuania and invites us to join. The online workshop is designed to discuss blockchain challenges that arise in the Lithuanian Fintech industry and present scientific solutions.
The online (via Zoom) event will take place on 26-27 November 2020. Registration is necessary.
We felt a need for some changes and made some exciting things we want to share with you!
We decided to employ the Head of Association. It took us some time to find the best fit, but here we are. Please welcome Vaiva Amulė! She has been working for Fintech Ecosystem for a while, and we are confident that she will push forward association to a next level. She will be working closely with the Board of Association, but feel she contact her directly via email@example.com. Please welcome Vaiva on board!
We are pleased to announce that three new members Mr.Banxe, Guru Pay & Secure Nordic Payments (MisterTango) have joined the Fintech Hub LT association. Welcome on Board!
Gutu Pay is an Electronic Money Institution, that focuses on providing payment services to Small and Medium enterprises, Freelancers and High-income individuals.
Secure Nordic Payments is a licensed financial institution based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Their mission is to provide the customers with simple, fast and low-fee payment services for their convenience.
Mr.Banxe allows to open an account at the speed of light and automates stressful and time-consuming banking and accounting tasks in a single, powerful SuperApp.
Fintech Hub LT newsletter
We also noticed that information added to our website doesn't always reach all the members. This encouraged us to share the news via a weekly newsletter. We will seek to add only useful information there. Nevertheless, we will continue adding information to our web section for the members so you could find all the relevant information in one place.