Juozas Kaminskas, Head of Nuvei Lithuania: there is an exceptional fintech ecosystem in Lithuania
Lithuania is often named abroad as the fintech hub of the European Union (EU). Our country leads the EU in the number of electronic money institutions. According to Public Institution Invest Lithuania, at the end of 2022, there were 263 fintech companies in Lithuania, including licensed and unlicensed fintech institutions. Last year, 25 million customers across the EU received payment services from financial institutions based in our country. Lithuania’s fast-growing fintech sector is increasingly attracting the attention of international fintech companies. For example, fintech giant Nuvei, which operates on all continents as a payment partner for business, entered Lithuania in 2022.
Juozas Kaminskas, Head of Nuvei Lithuania, says that the appearance of such a large company division in Lithuania has created high-paying jobs and new services for business. The Nuvei team in Vilnius develops international products that facilitate and accelerate the development of business organisations by providing businesses with all the necessary payment channels and tools to reach consumers around the world easily and quickly.
According to Greta Ranonytė, Head of Fintech Hub LT, the largest association of licensed Lithuanian financial technology companies in the Baltic States, the appearance of the international company Nuvei proves that Lithuania provides good conditions for the growth of ambitious fintech companies, and that the knowledge of Lithuanian specialists is highly appreciated and needed by international companies. As a result, we can expect more large, renowned fintech companies to come to Lithuania in the near future.
Nuvei – a financial group listed on the Toronto and New York Nasdaq stock exchanges
The Canadian-rooted group celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Its rapid growth and expansion started a few years ago, when the group acquired businesses in different regions of the world more actively, expanding its corporate customer segments and providing better localised payment solutions to its partners. This year, Nuvei Group is about to reach USD 200 billion in annual global turnover and USD 1.1 billion in annual revenues. The share value of the group is estimated at over USD 2 billion.
The company has an electronic money institution licence in Lithuania. Nuvei is one of the largest electronic money institutions in Lithuania in terms of payment volume or value.
“Nuvei Group has developed two product lines: global payment card processing and alternative payment methods. Nuvei now offers both payment accounts and card issuance. This responsibility has been assigned to the Lithuanian division. We open business accounts, provide SEPA, SEPA Instant, SWIFT payments, and offer open banking and business card issuance. Europe is the first market in which we started to offer these products and where we continue to successfully develop them. Later, we plan to expand our products globally. We are currently sharing responsibilities globally within the group, and Lithuania remains a strategically important provider of these services,” says Juozas Kaminskas.
Nuvei has 100 employees in Lithuania, the office is located in Vilnius. The average salary is estimated at EUR 4 774.
What attracts international fintech companies to Lithuania
According to Mr Kaminskas, Lithuania has a particularly good ecosystem for fintech companies. First and foremost, there is a regulatory framework that is clearly presented and understood. The second very important aspect is the flexible access to the EU payment system SEPA. The CentroLink product by the Bank of Lithuania makes it relatively easy for newly licensed companies to integrate and start making euro payments. Other countries do not have such tools or such an easy access to the SEPA system and therefore approach the CentroLink team or choose other commercial banks as intermediaries. The third important thing is the well-established community. It shares knowledge and experience both nationally and globally.
The future of fintech
Mr Kaminskas believes that the influence and importance of fintech will grow. Even traditional businesses will not avoid buying or being influenced by fintech products. Traditional marketplaces are in one or another way moving towards embedded finance, where fintech plays a key role. Businesses are also moving to mobile apps, marketplaces, apply digital solutions and search for ways to be closer to the consumer.