Revolut in the CEE; Biometric Onboarding in the Baltics; Microblink Battles COVID-19

The CEE region – Central and Eastern Europe – has been the source of some of the week’s most compelling international fintech headlines. Among them was news that digital alternative bank Revolut has gone live in Lithuania. The company said that it will passport its Lithuanian banking license – which it secured in 2018 – to launch in other markets in the CEE, and rely on Lithuania as its regional hub.

“Four years ago we set out to build a new kind of bank. The kind of bank that solves your problems and treats you fairly,” the company announced on Twitter this week. “Starting today, we’re excited to launch Revolut Bank to our 300,000 customers in Lithuania.”

Lithuania is the latest market Revolut has engaged; the company made its long-awaited U.S. launch in March, partnering with Metropolitan Commercial Bank to bring its banking app to market in the States. The difference is that Revolut will be able to operate as licensed bank in the European markets it has targeted. The company has yet to officially apply for a banking license in America.

Speaking of Lithuania, Luminor Bank – the third largest bank in the Baltics – announced that it was introducing a digital onboarding solution that would enable new customers to set up accounts with a selfie. The technology, courtesy of a partnership with Ondato, compares the image on the new customer’s identification document with an image created by a 3D biometric map of the customer’s face. Ondato checks the data on the ID document, analyzes the images, and enables customers to confirm their identity with a mobile signature.

“When performing client identification, not only document validity is tested, but also with the aid of biometric data, it is established whether the individual in the document truly is a match of the individual seeking to open an account,” Ondato CEO Liudas Kanapienis said. He praised the bank as the first traditional bank in Lithuania to “fully embrace” the digitization of customer verification and account opening.

Leaning in on the COVID-19 crisis, intelligent data extraction specialist Microblink is offering free access to its flagship solution, BlinkID, “for all the heroes who have replace their capes with masks.” The company is reaching out to public healthcare, non-profit, and government organizations that are helping fight the coronavirus pandemic with an offer to integrate its data capture solution into their mobile or web app – free of charge.

BlinkID enables users to quickly and securely capture personal information from 400+ identity documents in the world. The data remains on the app and the identity document remains in the hands of the document bearer, providing for a safe, contactless experience. During the current public health crisis, the solution has been used in Indonesia by police officers conducting public health checks, in Dubai to track those delivering medicines, and in the U.K. to register volunteers who bring food to seniors and others in need of assistance.

Microblink said the offer will remain in place “until the virus subsides” and interested organizations should contact them directly to apply. “Tell us what you’re doing to mitigate the crisis,” the company said in a statement. “We’ll make sure you’re set up with the right license key and ready to fly off and save the world.” Based in London, U.K., and Zagreb, Croatia, Microblink demonstrated its technology last year at FinovateEurope.

This year FinovateAsia will be an all-digital affair. Starting on July 6 and running through July 10th, our new format offers more keynotes, more debates, and more insight into our demoing companies than we ever have offered before.

Photo by Matthew Simmonds from Pexels

Check out our introduction to FinovateAsia from earlier this week – as well as our feature on the event’s keynote speakers – and start saving the dates. The biggest fintech event of the summer will be here sooner than you think.

Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Dash teams up with cryptocurrency payments company AnkerPay to bring the DASH payments network to sub-Sharan Africa.
  • Bank of Ghana opens fintech innovation office.
  • TechBullion looks at the partnership between Clear Junction and Zeepay Ghana.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Germany’s Finleap unveils new white label mobile banking app.
  • Revolut launches a licensed bank in Lithuania.
  • Czech ecommerce company Fair Play partners with Indian mobile payments solution provider FSS Technologies.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Enda Tamweel, a microfinancing institution based in Tunisia, goes live with TemenosTransact core banking solution.
  • Trading Technologies partners with Turkish exchange Borsa Istanbul, enabling trading of its derivatives on the TT platform.
  • Zawya interviews Faisal Omar Alsaggaf, CEO of National Commercial Bank on how banks in Saudi Arabia are coping with COVID-19.

Central and Southern Asia

  • JazzCash and Mastercard partner to bolster payments in Pakistan.
  • Pakistan-based digital wallet SadaPay collaborates with Mastercard to support contactless payments.
  • India’s Tata Capital launches capital commercial and SME mobile app.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • BHD Leon, based in the Dominican Republic, chooses Temenos’ core banking solution, Transact.
  • FIMPE and Mercado Libre Mexico partner to develop real-time identity validation solution.
  • Mexican challenger bank Klar teams up with payments platform – and recent SoFi acquisition – Galileo.


  • Singapore-based cross-border money transfer company Nium – formerly InstaRem – picked up investment from Visa and Bank BRI.
  • Avaloq teams up with Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
  • Hong Kong’s first virtual bank, ZA, to offer insurance products.

Top image designed by Freepik