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Published: 4 december 2020 17:46

Bankera founders’ company becomes a principal member of Visa network

V.Karalevičius with Bankera-Visa card
V.Karalevičius with Bankera-Visa card

The Lithuanian-founded fintech company Pervesk, which holds an electronic money institution license issued by the Bank of Lithuania, has become a member of the Visa card network.

This achievement grants Pervesk the right to issue Visa payment cards without intermediaries. Pervesk is the first Lithuanian-founded and licensed fintech company in Lithuania to be given the principal member status by Visa.

“Visa membership will allow us not only to offer payment cards at competitive prices to our clients but also let us provide this solution to other financial technology companies”, says Bankera co-founder Vytautas Karalevičius.

More stable solution

According to V. Karalevičius, seeking principal membership in the Visa network rather than releasing payment cards through intermediaries, as most fintech companies usually do, was the more difficult path but one that ensures stability in the long run.

“We are creating a financial business for the long term. Therefore, membership in the leading payment card networks was only a matter of time. We could have taken the more comfortable and faster path releasing payment cards by integrating the systems of other financial institutions. However, we decided to strive for Visa membership that would allow us to launch cards without intermediaries and under more favourable conditions.

Furthermore, after almost ten years of operation in the payments business, we observed that the market still lacks providers offering reliable financial solutions to fintech businesses. The financial market is dynamic – along with changes in regulations or risk appetite, the policies of financial institutions also change more often than preferred, which leads to disruptions in service provision to partners. For these reasons, we sought a more stable long-term solution,” V. Karalevičius says.

Cards available soon

The first physical payment cards released by Pervesk have already reached Lithuania. They are currently being tested by the company’s staff and most loyal clients in real-life conditions, such as daily payments.

Bankera will start offering payment cards to individual clients this December, while business clients will be able to order them in the first quarter of 2021.

Card services to other fintech companies

The co-founder of Bankera emphasizes that the benefit that company’s membership in the Visa network will bring to the fintech companies seeking payment card solutions.

“Thanks to the leadership of the Bank of Lithuania, our country has formed highly favourable conditions for the development of fintech companies, which is something that intensifies every year. New fintech companies are settling in Lithuania not only due to its appealing licensing conditions but also its unique offer of joining CentroLINK. This retail payment system enables offering SEPA payments to fintech clients.

Meanwhile, in Europe, with some of the major players withdrawing from the market, a niche is emerging for companies offering payment card solutions.

We see new opportunities for acting both in the Lithuanian and broader European markets, offering solutions to already licensed financial institutions and fintech businesses who are just starting up,” Bankera’s co-founder states.

According to him, membership in international payment card networks is not a viable alternative for all fintech companies. It is a relatively expensive and complex procedure which demands compliance with risk management and anti-money laundering standards, as well as financial requirements.

Recognized solutions

Bankera platform currently offers personal and business payment accounts with dedicated IBANs. Its clients can enjoy SEPA and SWIFT transfers at competitive rates. For small and medium-sized enterprises in Lithuania, Bankera offers business loans for financing invoices, working capital, or business growth.

Bankera was founded by three Lithuanians: Justas Dobiliauskas, Mantas Mockevičius, and Vytautas Karalevičius. This April, in a hackathon initiated by the European Commission, Bankera’s small and medium-sized enterprise financing solution has won the first place in the Digital Finance category. In June, at the Fintech Week Lietuva event held in Lithuania, Bankera was recognized as the fintech company that created the best solution for business customers.

In the leading fintech innovator rating “2019 Fintech100: Leading Global Fintech Innovators”, released by an international company KPMG along with the risk capital investment fund H2 Ventures, Bankera was the only company representing Lithuania, taking the 42nd place.

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