Verse is a checking account without a Bank, a social tool for payments that eliminates the friction of transactions between friends and businesses. It is the first Spanish Fintech to obtain a license from the Bank of Lithuania (Lietuvos Banka), which allows Verse to operate not only in Lithuania but across the European Economic Area. Thanks to this license, Verse will be able to manage daily transactions of more than five hundred thousand millennials that use the platform with no link at all to the traditional system.
With this license, Verse joins Internet giants such as Google, which have chosen Lithuania as a hub for Fintech operations. Operating legally from Lithuania “will give us freedom of action in all European countries, including access to the EU’s instant payment infrastructure. Lithuania has created the most agile and efficient fintech ecosystem in Europe”, says Bernardo Hernández, President and CEO of Verse.
Ever since Bernardo Hernández, serial entrepreneur and former Google and Yahoo executive, took over the company 18 months ago as CEO and President, the number of Verse users transacting every month has multiplied by 8. This increase has enabled Verse to multiply by 17 the transacted volume over the last year and a half to Eur150M.
“It is a crucial moment for money and technology. The elimination of intermediaries between incumbents and consumers that we have seen in other industries such as telecoms or the media, is coming to Banking. Disintermediating the direct relationship of traditional banks and customers will be the catalyst of the Fintech revolution and, at Verse, we want to be part of this transformational change,” says Bernardo Hernández.
This approval of the European payments licence follows the closing of Verse’s Euro 7M seed financing round, led by Greycroft Partners LLC and international investors such as Expon Capital, Nikesh Arora, Alan Patricof, Martin Varsavsky, David Stern and Charlie Songhurst. With this capital, the App will expand to other European markets such as Italy, France and Portugal.
Verse is not a bank, and it does not intend to become one. The development of the technology Verse relies on allows them to manage daily payments with no links to the traditional banking systems. This application, that adapts to the use habits of young generations, is redefining the consumer financial behaviour so that something as intimate as payments is gaining a social dimension. Specifically, 75% of Verse users make the concept of their payments public, and many of them even use the popular emojis.
Verse is also launching its QR code feature for businesses and individuals. With this new functionality, paying will be as simple as pointing the camera of your mobile phone at a QR code, making mobile payments something extraordinarily simple. This payment trigger is already a standard in many Asian countries where companies such as Alipay or WeChat have billions of users.
The convenience and usefulness of managing money through Verse have allowed its more than 500,000 registered users to move more than 150 million euros to date, with 9 out of 10 users transferring 25% of their payroll to Verse and from there pay day-to-day expenses such as dinners, birthday presents or a weekend trip with friends.