The exclusive interview series from the Fintech Landscape in Lithuania 2021-2022 Report continues. Tadas Češkevičius, Country Manager at Yapily Lithuania discusses the key criteria when choosing a new licensing jurisdiction, continuous growth of the Yapily team and Lithuania’s critical role in expanding the bank’s integration footprint across the continent.
Why did Yapily choose Lithuania? What were the criteria behind the selection process of a new licensing jurisdiction?
Lithuania’s position as the second largest Fintech hub in Europe is no accident — it’s the result of the country’s deliberate policy and the collaboration between the government and the central bank. As our company has been born out of regulation, a regulatory environment that supports a thriving Fintech ecosystem is vital to our growth trajectory, particularly as we continue to expand across Europe. Access to a local talent pool of unparalleled Fintech expertise was also a key driver in the selection process.
Yapily has been operating in Lithuania for over a year. How smooth was the process of establishing a business here?
After establishing our central office in Vilnius, over the last twelve months our team has grown from just two people to include technical, product, compliance and operations business functions. We’re continuing to hire across these areas in 2022 including sales to manage our growth across key European markets.
Lithuania’s reputation as a global Fintech hub has attracted a lot of industry expertise to the region. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Fintech startup looking to scale at speed in this environment, which offers a huge opportunity to our newest team members.
In our last year’s survey, Open Banking was named the most exciting trend in Fintech. Do you see Lithuania playing a leading role in the EU in the development and distribution of this technology?
Undoubtedly. Last year we saw tremendous interest from financial technology companies to use Open Banking. In 2021, our customer base grew 2.5 times, and we currently provide at least 80% coverage across 16 European countries — with the Baltics and Nordics on the horizon — enabling our customers to connect to more than 1,600 banks. However, we’re always working to expand our bank integration footprint across the continent, and Lithuania will play a key role in supporting this growth.
In Lithuania, there is an appetite for innovation across the financial ecosystem, not just in the Fintech community. The fact that the Bank of Lithuania considers using Account Information Services (AIS) for reporting shows a deep-rooted understanding and interest in the distribution of Open Banking. This makes Lithuania well-positioned to play a leading role in the evolution and success of this technology across the EU — not just from a licensing perspective, but also a cultural one.
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