60 seconds with Rūta Merkevičiūtė, Bank of Lithuania

23 Aug 2019

Head of Division, E-Money & Payments Institutions Supervision, Bank of Lithuania, Rūta Merkevičiūtė, joins the speaking faculty for Open Banking Expo, Amsterdam on 4 October. Join Rūta in her afternoon session as she explores the role of the central bank in driving forward Open Banking and what they can do to accelerate adoption.


Q: Explain what you do in less than 50 words

I am in charge of a division at the Bank of Lithuania that is responsible for supervising more than 100 e-money and payment institutions licenced in our country. Most of them have the right to provide payment and other services at the pan-EU level. At a time when companies are shifting to a higher gear it is vital to identify the weak points and prevent them from becoming an issue in the future.

I am also a member of Lithuania’s Payments Council group, which is responsible for the development of Open Banking in Lithuania.


Q: Why did you choose to speak about “The role of the central bank in driving forward Open Banking” at Open Banking Expo Europe?

The choice came naturally as the development of a FinTech-conducive regulatory and supervisory ecosystem as well as fostering innovations in the financial sector is one of the Bank of Lithuania’s strategic directions. The Bank of Lithuania is one of the accelerators aiming to identify areas for the development of Open Banking outside the scope of the PSD2 and provide guidance to stakeholders on further implementation. We also see Open Banking as one of the tools to increase competition among financial market participants in our country.


Q: What are the biggest challenges your organisation faces in meeting the PSD2 deadline on 14 September?

Currently, the Bank of Lithuania is closely monitoring the market preparation for the implementation of the PSD2 requirements. The biggest challenge is to be on the same page both for the regulator and market participants: we put a lot of time and effort in consultations and discussions so as to ensure that the requirements are understood and treated equally, increase readiness and drive Open Banking forward.


Q: What can the audience expect to learn and hear about during your session?

The audience will hear about the Bank of Lithuania’s experience and the role of a regulator in advancing Open Banking, particularly focusing on what part central banks play in accelerating adoption and management of the ecosystem and exploring the opportunities of open data.


Q: What do you think the financial services industry will look like in 10 years’ time as a result of Open Banking? Will much have changed?

I believe that the financial service industry will become more and more client-oriented and personalised. I won’t be surprised to see portable-data tools that would enable a client to access any financial service with the transactional and behavioural history of his previous products. This would help financial service providers to use Open Banking both as a tool to adapt products to the individual client, and for a client’s risk evaluation (KYC, historical transaction monitoring, credit risk, etc.).


Q: What innovation do you see in Open Banking in the next 12 months?

As regards the PSD2 – I see the rise of players that were not direct participants of the payment system, e.g. accounting firms, combining their accounting products with payment initiation and account information services. In the longer run, the incentives of Open Banking will especially boost the financial advisory sector and also spread to other sectors, such as insurance and investment services.