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 and Google Payment.
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 UK, 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% this year. Officials will hope lenders continue to dodge the banking scandals that have sapped trust in the other two Baltic countries.
© 2019 Bloomberg L.P