Verse, the development of current accounts towards a payment tool that wipes out the friction of financial transactions between friends and in shops, has become the first Spanish Fintech to obtain a licence from the Bank of Lithuania (Lietuvos Bankas). This licence authorises it to operate not only in Lithuania but in the entire European Economic Area. Verse will also be able to manage the day-to-day transactions of the more than five hundred thousand millennials that already use its platform with no link to traditional banking.
This licence opens the door to the Lithuanian Fintech ecosystem for Verse to join other internet giants such as Google, who have chosen Lithuania as the hub for their Fintech operations. Operating legally from Lithuania “will give us freedom of action in all European countries, including access to the EU’s instant payment infrastructure. Lithuania has created the most agile and efficient Fintech ecosystem in Europe”, explains Bernardo Hernández, president and CEO of Verse.
Verse is committed to this Baltic country, and specifically on the Bank of Lithuania, as it is leading the tendency to attract Fintech within the future European borders, only surpassed by the United Kingdom in the granting of these licences.
The Fintech player, in its commitment to managing payments throughout Europe, has opened a compliance department in the country to ensure compliance with the applicable regulation in the sector. The expansion will begin with the hiring of a senior manager for the Lithuanian office.
Ever since Bernardo Hernández, a businessman and former Google and Yahoo executive, took over the company 18 months ago as CEO and President, the number of Verse users making transactions every month has multiplied by 8. This increase has enabled Verse to multiply by 17 the volume of operations carried out in the last year and a half, reaching a total volume of 150 million euros.
“It is a crucial moment for money and technology. The elimination of intermediaries in the relationship between the supplier and the consumer, as seen in other industries such as telecoms or the media, has reached the banking business. Interrupting the direct contact between traditional banks and customers will trigger the Fintech revolution and, at Verse, we count on being a key player in this change,” says Bernardo Hernández.
The development of the technology Verse relies on allows managing money daily without necessarily depending on a bank. This application, which adapts to the usage habits of the new generations, is redefining the financial behaviour of the consumer to the point that something so intimate as payments is acquiring a social dimension. In particular, 75% of Verse users disclose the payment reference of their transactions, and many of them even use the popular emojis.
“The viability and potential of innovative sectors to grow is often demonstrated by the criteria of internationalization, that is, whether the country‘s ecosystem is attractive to foreign companies and talents. The decision of one of the most promising fintech startup Verse to come to Lithuania proves the potential of the Lithuanian fintech and startups ecosystem because this is the ecosystem that is chosen by the most promising players on the market,” states Virginijus Sinkevičius, the Minister of Economy and Innovation of Lithuania.
“In the coming years, we will undoubtedly see a lot of first times in our growing Fintech ecosystem. This time is also the first time when a P2P payments provider from Spain chooses Lithuania. Such decision shows that more and more countries recognize the value of our well-established infrastructure and chooses Lithuania for the development of their activities, which makes the fintech ecosystem more diverse and dynamic,” Mantas Katinas, General Manager of Invest Lithuania, believes.
The comfort and usefulness of managing money at Verse have meant that more than 500,000 registered users have moved more than 150 million euros to date, and 9 out of 10 transfer 25% of their payroll to Verse for shared daily activities such as the weekly shop, a birthday gift or travel expenses.