The Vilnius market of Lithuania is the market leader in financial technology in the European Union

2019 was a significant year for the development of FinTech. Over 40 new members joined the FinTech ecosystem in Lithuania last year, and the number of employees in the sector increased by 30 percent. Lithuania continues to strengthen its financial technology industry without losing its leading position. The country is currently the first licensed center for financial technology in the European Union and takes 4th place in the global FinTech ranking for FinTech companies and is one of the strongest countries in the USA, Great Britain and Singapore.
The FinTech 2019 report marks the rapid expansion of FinTech companies based in Lithuania. Many of the market participants surveyed are hiring more and more employees to carry out various functions with high added value, and companies operating in Lithuania are successfully expanding and attracting investment.

The government, which has made the development of financial technology one of its priorities, will pay great attention not only to the opening of new opportunities for innovation (favorable infrastructure, legal environment, innovative financial services promotion programs, etc.), but also to security. Last year, at the initiative of the Minister of Finance Vilius Shapoki, nine institutions of the country signed a memorandum on cooperation and exchange of information in the field of risk management in the field of financial innovation and financial technology. The Ministry of Finance’s plans for the future include new regulatory initiatives aimed at further stimulating FinTech startups in our country, improving authentication methods, expanding FinTech solutions and services, as well as using FinTech tools to stimulate green investments.

“Lithuania has established itself as a FinTech center in a very short time. This is due to our openness to innovation, speed, risk management and effective and progressive collaboration between all members of the FinTech ecosystem. We must keep up with financial innovations and seize the opportunities that they bring. One of the latest trends that the world is talking about is FinTech’s influence on the transition to a green economy, ”said Finance Minister V. Shapoka.

“The FinTech sector is one of the fastest growing high value-added sectors of the Lithuanian economy, which has doubled since 2016. The advantages for Lithuania are obvious – the active FinTech sector allows attracting well-known companies that create new jobs in the country and promote innovation. Therefore, we are pleased that in 2019 in our country more than 200 fintech companies worked, in which more than 3 thousand professionals worked. Most of them chose Lithuania because of favorable regulation, excellent infrastructure and talented specialists. All these factors contribute to Lithuania’s important goal of becoming one of the financial centers of the Baltic Sea region, ”says Marius Skuodis, vice minister of economy and innovation.

Due to the fast development of the FinTech market, the Bank of Lithuania has strengthened its supervisory potential by investing more human resources and investing in IT tools. In the near future, a specific RegTech solution will be introduced, which will simplify the receipt of monitoring reports by automatically transferring transaction data directly from financial market participants in a single format. The Bank of Lithuania also takes an active part in the Global Initiative on Innovative Regulators and discusses the future of central bank digital currencies and will soon issue the world’s first digital collectible coin, LBCOIN.

During 2019, such important market players as SumUp, Verse, Sonect and others joined the Lithuanian FinTech ecosystem.

There is a growing need for anti-money laundering (AML) and compliance professionals, not just IT. FinTech contributes to increased competition in the financial services market, provides more choice for consumers, simpler and often cheaper services. Innovations in the financial and other sectors are one of the engines of economic growth, creating the highest added value for the country.

The report also points to a positive outlook for 2020 in terms of revenue, capital raising and market consolidation. About a fifth of fintech companies plan to raise at least 5 million euros over the next year, and 16% from 1 to 3 million euros. Companies in Regtech, money management and digital currencies expect the strongest growth.
It is expected that by the end of 2020 the number of fintechs in Lithuania will exceed 250, and it is expected that the trend towards diversification will continue. An increase in demand for special banking licenses and other types of licenses is expected, as evidenced by the growth in the number of companies engaged in digital banking and personal finance in 2019.

Jobs are expected to grow at the same pace as in 2019, adding more than a thousand new jobs in 2020, with demand focused on IT, software development, and business development. The rapid economic growth of Lithuania and the improvement of living standards are expected to attract a significant number of Lithuanian emigrants to return from abroad, as well as international specialists wishing to relocate in 2020.

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