Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing in-depth insights from key players in Lithuania’s Fintech sector in a series of exclusive interviews from the Fintech Landscape in Lithuania 2021-2022 Report. In our first instalment, Tadas Vizgirda, Managing Director of Shift4 Payments Lithuania takes a closer look at how Lithuania has helped to build the company’s global success.
You are one of the biggest Fintech success stories in Lithuania, active in the cluster since the early days. How has the ecosystem developed so far, in your opinion?
Ever since the Lithuanian Government eased its banking license requirements, introduced business-friendly regulatory initiatives, and made a commitment to building a strong Fintech cluster, Lithuania has been making strides towards becoming the region’s Fintech powerhouse. As a result, competition for IT talent in this sector has been growing significantly. That being said, having an attractive product, a strong core team, and a clear strategic vision makes attracting talent considerably easier.
One major change that we’ve noticed in our recruitment efforts is the growing number of prospective hires that already have experience working in Fintech, which is one of the criteria that we really look for when recruiting. This wasn’t the case 5 years ago.
In your opinion, what are the key reasons for Fintech success in Lithuania?
The Lithuanian Government’s initiative to form a Fintech cluster was a great idea. Back then Lithuania was somewhat of a Fintech pioneer in the region, but we’re now reaping the rewards as an experienced global player. The Bank of Lithuania did a great job in formulating a strategy to differentiate Lithuania’s banking system and regulatory environment from our neighboring countries.
Invest Lithuania has also done outstanding work over the past 5-7 years of putting itself out there and spreading the word about Lithuania. This has resulted in numerous Fintech investments from Europe and the rest of the world. Needless to say, none of this would’ve mattered if Lithuania didn’t have an extremely talented labor force. High levels of educational attainment and English proficiency, an innovative mindset, and a robust sense of ownership – these are the key characteristics of Lithuanian talent, highly sought-after by most Fintech companies.
Most of your team is in the US. What are the advantages of extending your engineering efforts to Lithuania?
Having an international, culturally diverse team allows us to be more innovative in our product development process. Given that everyone’s thought process is somewhat unique, working together helps us generate a greater number of innovative ideas. Our 24/7 engineering and customer support cycles also allow us to address issues as they happen, which is critical in the payments space. Having our engineering and operations teams up and running at all times of the day reduces the likelihood of a customer running into any significant issues.
You also have extensive support functions in Lithuania. What can you tell about the talent pool here?
Shift4 Payments was initially established as a software development center. However, in May 2017 we were asked to assist with customer support operations. We gladly accepted and today, in addition to our software development center, we also have one of the largest Shift4 customer support centers within our global operations.
The client support talent pool in Lithuania is second-to-none. High English proficiency, eagerness to solve difficult problems, and commitment to customer satisfaction are all qualities that make Lithuanians stand out from their peers in the region and across the EU.
Download our Fintech Landscape in Lithuania 2021-2022 report