First Swiss Fintech Obtains e-Money Licence in Lithuania for European Expansionby Fintechnews Switzerland May 2, 2019
Sonect, a location-based P2P matchmaking platform that connects those who want to withdraw cash with those who want to deposit it, has obtained its Electronic Money Institution licence from the Bank of Lithuania, which enables the company to operate in all EEA countries.
EEA countries consists of the 28 member countries of the European Union (EU) combined with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. This marks a starting point for pan-European expansion for the Swiss fintech.
It took a relatively short 18 months for Sonect to curate the largest single cash withdrawal network in its Switzerland home town. In fact, we even named them as one of the top fintech startups in Switzerland, and it was also a finalist for the Swiss Fintech Awards 2019.
In Switzerland Sonect got its network by building a community around local businesses and helps them generate physical leads. The company thinks it can do the same in Europe—and seemingly expecting to do so within the coming months.
There’s a global trend of banks phasing out their ATMs. The total number of bank branches has declined continuously since 2002 from around 54,000 to 32,000 in the EU, which makes it harder for regular people to access cash. Sonect seeks to solve this issue by allowing customers to withdraw, deposit and transfer cash at participating nearby stores instead—be it a café, a pharmacy, or other businesses that handle physical cash.
Lithuania will serve as the European headquarters for Sonect, where the firm aims to build a team of 20 people in the next few years to furnish their existing 30 current team members.
This article first appeared on Fintech Baltic; Featured image credit: Sonect