Contis plans Lithuania outpost
Contis Group, a leading European alternative banking and payments solutions group, is to set up a new division in Vilnius, Lithuania as part of its €1 million investment plan over the next two years.
Contis is a pan-European E-Money institution, regulated by the FCA, and Issuer of Visa Europe and Visa certified processor. For major brands across the EEA, it provides alternative banking, and full ‘end-to-end’ Visa card payment solutions, and can give full access via tailor-made APIs. These services are already being used by well-known brands in the Nordic and Baltic region, such as the airline airBaltic.
Recruiting over 20 financial specialists, Contis’ new Lithuanian division will be responsible for business expansion and relations in the Baltic and Nordic region. It will also handle interbank settlements in Euros for all of the group’s customers; customer service; project implementation; and the development and introduction of technology products for use in the Eurozone.
For Contis Group’s Chairman of the Board, Peter Cox, it was the combination of a business-friendly regulatory framework, advanced ICT infrastructure and a pool of banking talent that made Lithuania an attractive location.
“Contis Group is unique in being a ‘one-stop’ shop for financial services. We offer businesses alternative banking, payment cards and processing services, including technological solutions, plus we operate all the necessary licences,” Mr Cox explains. “When deciding where to invest, we focused on analysis of the regulatory environment and the technological opportunities available. In Lithuania, we found what we needed for the expansion of our business in the Eurozone.
Moreover, the open attitude of the Bank of Lithuania and the numerous specialists who have experience in the banking sector also contributed significantly”, he concludes.
“We expect the company to grow by approximately 150% within a year. This will open huge career opportunities for those team members who are about to join us”, stated Mr Cox.
In setting up operations in Lithuania, Contis Group will be joining a number of international Fintech providers who have recently moved to the Baltic country. These include Revolut, a UK-based Fintech start up; the Chinese international settlement giant, International Business Settlement; and the payment platform developer, Moneta International.
Mantas Katinas, General Manager of the foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania, believes the rapid growth of the Lithuanian Fintech sector in 2016 will be strongly consolidated this year. “At the beginning of 2016, it was difficult to imagine that Lithuania would become an attractive location for world-renowned Fintech companies,” says Mr Katinas.
“Yet today, we have a growing cluster of a forward-looking industry leaders based here. And an attractive value proposition for this sector that we have just prepared in cooperation with the Bank of Lithuania will allow this industry to be further fostered and strengthened this year.”
Currently, Contis Group employs 120 people and comprises of: a technology development company, a financial services company and operation centres. The company has divisions in the United Kingdom, India and Lithuania.