With CENTROlink rapidly expanding, new system functionalities spark interest in the FinTech sector
The upgraded payment system of the Bank of Lithuania has been attracting much attention from the local and foreign payment service providers. On a year-on-year basis, the number of payment system participants has doubled, while the number of payment transactions increased more than 1.5 times.
‘Households and corporates can already reap the benefits of increased competition and the wider range of modern payment services to choose from. This is also reinforced by the spur of FinTech businesses in Lithuania and the expansion in the capacities of CENTROlink,’ said Algirdas Neciunskas, Director of the Market Infrastructure Department at the Bank of Lithuania.
At the end of Q1 2018, CENTROlink was used by 33 financial institutions – over the year the number of payment system participants has doubled. The FinTech sector – notably payment and e-money institutions – has showed particular interest in the Bank of Lithuania’s payment infrastructure. It is widely chosen by financial institutions licensed in both Lithuania and other EU countries.
In Q1 2018, the number of payments executed in CENTROlink reached 4.1 million, a year-on-year increase of 54%. In the period under review the total value of transactions increased by a third – to €10.7 billion. Accounting for an absolute majority of transactions processed, Single European Payment Area (SEPA) credit transfer is the most popular service within CENTROlink. Yet direct debit transactions (automatic pre-authorised payments), which were introduced last year, have been rapidly gaining traction.
CENTROlink has the widest range of SEPA services in the Baltic-Nordic region, including instant payments and direct debit. Joining the first wave of the pan-European adherence to the new scheme in 2017, the Bank of Lithuania opened up the possibility for financial institutions to offer their clients instant payments, a payment solution available 24/7/365, including weekends and holidays.