Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of electronic money institutions continues to grow
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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of electronic money institutions continues to grow

While the normal life was suspended under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, this did not limit Lithuania‘s speed in FinTech licensing. In last three months the Board of the Bank of Lithuania has issued three new electronic money institution licenses for clients of Ecovis ProventusLaw – UAB Travel Union, UAB BEBAWA and UAB B4B Payments Europe. ECOVIS ProventusLaw specialists have led them though the whole licencing process.

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 markets even if the U.K. fails to reach a deal with the EU.

‘The COVID-19 crisis 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.

Licences issued for UAB Travel Union and UAB BEBAWA will provide them the right to issue electronic money and certain services indicated in the Law on Payments.

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.

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 Travel Union will pay particular attention to the tourism services sector. In addition to traditional electronic money and payment services, the institution will provide useful offers to travellers. It is owned by Travel Union Finance Limited, established in the United Kingdom.

The third 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.

Recently ECOVIS ProventusLaw advised another UK based Fintech Contis Group offering alternative, end-to-end banking and payments solutions by getting of Electronic Money Institution license for securing group‘s access to the financial markets of continental Europe after Brexit.

ECOVIS ProventusLaw has already successfully guided more than 30 FinTech companies through the licensing process during the last few years. 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 favourable regulatory environment: co-operative attitude (newcomer programme), 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 innovative idea).