Courting fintech companies is paying off for Lithuania.
For two years, the Baltic nation of 2.8 million people has promoted itself as a launchpad for hi-tech upstarts eyeing the European Union and the euro region, offering English-language services and three-month approval for licenses. Big-name companies to obtain banking and e-money permits include London-based Revolut Ltd. and Google Payment Ltd.
The initiative has led to the issuance of 45 e-money licenses, according to Invest Lithuania, the country’s investment agency. That’s second only to the U.K., which has doled out 146.
“Lithuania’s drive to establish itself as a tech hub will attract further foreign investment,” Fitch Ratings said in a report. Its “friendly regulatory environment, technical infrastructure and euro-zone membership will continue to act as a catalyst for tech realities going forward.”
Like nearby Estonia, the trailblazer for e-citizenship, Lithuania can sense an opportunity. A fintech strategy approved this month envisages the sector will expand 15 percent this year. Officials will hope lenders continue to dodge the banking scandals that have sapped trust in the other two Baltic countries.