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A banking system provider Fininbox has just introduced a new accounting service explicitly designed for Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) licensed in Lithuania – Europe's FinTech powerhouse.
In the past few years, the European Union (EU) member state Lithuania has become arguably the most desired FinTech hotspot in Europe. There are 52 electronic money license holders in the country to date, and that is the second-best result in Europe.
An increasing lack of high profile accountants in the Lithuanian market, according to Fininbox representative, was the main reason the company chose to include accounting as a service.
"Electronic Money Institutions, particularly foreign ones, need expert help with ever-tighter Lithuanian legislative requirements. Proper reporting to regulating authorities, like the Bank of Lithuania, the State Tax Inspectorate, the Centre of Registers and SoDra is of paramount importance for them. We can offer in-depth knowledge of the Lithuanian laws and procedures intricacies, and that's our main advantage," said Tadeuš Šturo, the Director of Fininbox.
According to him, sometimes even business development may depend on how well accounting drew necessary documentation.
"The success of any financial service provider depends on user trust; that's why every misstep can be disastrous. You can't expect to create trustworthily FinTech business if you get warnings or even fines from regulating authorities. It reflects poorly on you, your product, and that's bad for business", the head of Fininbox explained.
A new accounting service includes drawing up, entry and processing of documents (invoices, bank statements, accounting certificates, etc.), drawing up of mandatory reports, payroll accounting, and other additional operations, such as descriptions of assets and stocks inventory.
It's worth pointing out that reporting service shall be available only if the client has integrated accounting of economic activities with financial accounting.
Director of Fininbox says a new accounting service will provide necessary backup to EMI's and empower them by letting to focus on more valuable daily matters.
The number of electronic money institutions (EMIs) operating in Lithuania rose to 40 in 2018, up from 12 just two years earlier, and the sector’s revenues from electronic money issuance and payment services surged to 6.4 million euros, according to Bank of Lithuania statistics. Changing market situation prompted UAB “Kredito uniju namai”, which is a part of Forbis Group, with 64 percent of EMIs as company clients, to change its trading name to Fininbox.
From “Kredito uniju namai” it will become Fininbox
“The old name was good while our clients were mainly credit unions. But the market has broadened to FinTechs startups, electronic money institutions, and so on. So rebranding is logical,” said Tadeuš Šturo, the CEO of the subsidiary.
Rapid growth is thanks in part to favourable conditions created by the central bank as the local financial regulator. According to Fininbox’ representative, today 64 percent of the company’s clients are electronic money institutions (EMIs), while 29% are credit unions and 7% are currency exchange operators. They are spread all over the world – in Europe, Asia, and both North and South America, Mr Šturo said.
And EMIs are just one part of the market for Fininbox, which offers full IT solutions for banks, credit unions, payment providers, currency exchange operators and a big variety of FinTech operations from many countries.
“We have clients licenced by the Bank of Lithuania and clients licenced by other countries’ regulators – Malta’s, the UK’s, Ireland’s, and so on. We’re open to everyone, and technically we’re able to serve clients from all over the world,” Mr Šturo noted. He says, that working in close tandem with the Bank of Lithuania, which is part of the Eurosystem, enables it to react quickly to any changes in the market and the rules of the game.
“It’s about meeting the challenges of today’s financial industry in a reliable and cost-effective way,” the company’s CEO stressed. “In a world of rapid change, the approach of renting rather than re-inventing IT can really pay off for institutions of any size, letting them focus entirely on creating value for customers and eliminating many costs and headaches,” he said.
With its new name, Fininbox also plans to expand its range of services. It expects to be the first in Lithuania, for example, to provide automated SEPA Instant credit transfers and SEPA Direct Debit, and among the first with solutions for implementing the EU’s Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2). It will also offer anti-money laundering (AML) training and financial accounting for FinTech firms. And Fininbox now powers the Contomobile app for sending, receiving and managing funds with personal and business IBAN accounts – Forbis Group’s own first foray into providing financial services.
Hence the new service offerings. They are in addition to the group’s deep expertise in all kinds of IT integrations, and to the “shared development” model it offers so that multiple clients can split the costs of creating new features they all need or want.
The unit, whose original name meant “House of Credit Unions”, was established to make the Lithuania-based Forbis Group’s powerful FORPOST system, which is used by major international banks, available also to smaller financial institutions on a flexible banking system-as-a-service (SaaS) basis.
Company calls it a ‘banking system-in-a-box’, since it includes everything: software, infrastructure, support and development. It’s a world-class backend, secure and compliant, that costs less, has more features and scales more easily than any system that a smaller firm could build and maintain in-house.
While implementing advanced secure IT solutions for big banks over the last three decades, Forbis itself gradually became an expert in modern financial products, including compliance with AML and other regulations. Now the company says SaaS clients are increasingly seeking its industry advice.