B2B Payments

Lithuania Suspends SatchelPay Operations

The Bank of Lithuania has suspended the majority of activities of payments company SatchelPay, reports said Tuesday, barring the Lithuanian company from issuing electronic money or providing part of its payment services.

The Industry Spread reported Tuesday (Aug. 6) that the nation’s central bank has suspended the company’s activities because it allegedly failed to provide the government with required financial data on its operations this year.

“Lithuania is aiming to become a regional FinTech hub by creating favorable conditions for financial market participants,” said Bank of Lithuania Director of the Supervision Service Vytautas Valvonis in a statement. “However, we take a zero-tolerance approach to any risky and irresponsible activities.

“We have always emphasized that startups must concentrate not only on business development but to invest in risk control measures, while taking into account the volume and complexity of their activities, as well as to ensure proper compliance with legal requirements,” he added.

Businesses offering electronic money services must provide Lithuanian authorities with audited annual financial statements, reports explained. The company’s deadline to do so was the beginning of April. Reports noted that the central bank sent reminders and warnings to the company to provide the financial information.

Because of that failure, the government has suspended SatchelPay’s ability to provide payment services and issue electronic funds until it complies with the requirements.

The company is still allowed to provide cash withdrawal services and to transfer funds received into customer accounts via other electronic money, credit or payment service providers.

“Market participants are required to provide the Bank of Lithuania with certain information on their activities and finances in order to assess their financial position and determine whether they are able to provide services and adequately protect customer funds,” Valvonis continued. “However, these requirements have bot been heeded by SatchelPay, UAB and the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania will never tolerate such infringements. In addition to the restricted activities, we will also evaluate whether the current manager of the institution is eligible for this position.”

SatchelPay received its electronic money institution license in March of 2018, reports noted.

Update: SatchelPay announced in November that it has received regulatory permission to commence operations. SatchelPay subsequently spoke with PYMNTS about the regulatory saga, as well as the opportunity for FinTech-Regulator collaboration.

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