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Is Paysera a bank?

Is Paysera a bank? No, unless you live in Georgia.
It’s a valid question, and we get that a lot. We could give you the short “yes or no” answer, but we suspect that you might be interested in the “why” too. Also, there are a few nuances that are important to explain for you to see the whole picture, so let’s get started!

Let’s answer it once and for all: Is Paysera a bank?

Generally speaking, no, Paysera is not a bank. It’s an electronic money institution, licensed by the Bank of Lithuania.

Don’t worry if it’s confusing – you’re probably asking yourself now what the difference between a bank and an electronic money institution (EMI) is. We will answer this very shortly. For now, allow us to explain why we said that we’re mostly an EMI.

Every rule has an exception

If you’re keeping up with our updates and have a bit of background on the Paysera Group, you might already know that while our main office is in Vilnius, Lithuania, we have a presence in several other countries too.

One particularly interesting case is Paysera in Georgia. It stands out because it's the only country in our network where we actually operate as a bank. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what it’s called there – Paysera Bank Georgia.

What this means is that Paysera as a network in general is not a bank, unless you’re in Georgia – in this case, Paysera is a bank.

You know us – we like to keep things interesting

Paysera is a bank in Georgia.

What’s the difference between an electronic money institution and a bank?

Both banks and electronic money institutions provide various financial services, but there are some important differences between them.

Chances are, you're already familiar with what a bank does, so we won't dwell on that. Instead, let's shed some light on what an electronic money institution actually is, since it's a term that might not be as familiar to everyone.

Simply put, an electronic money institution is licensed to store digital money. This means that due to their digital nature, electronic money institutions like Paysera are driven to implement innovation and technology to provide simpler ways for people to manage their finances.

This can mean offering user-friendly apps (like the Paysera super app) and digital platforms, utilising artificial intelligence, and more.

However, compared to traditional banks, electronic money institutions are more limited when it comes to offering some financial services. For instance, electronic money institutions can perform money remittances, offer payment transaction services, provide cash deposit and withdrawal services, and more. But unlike traditional banks, the EMI licence means that we can’t offer deposit and loan services.

What about safety?

Paysera is licensed and supervised by the Bank of Lithuania. Rest assured, there are necessary compliance criteria and checks that we take very seriously. An electronic money institution is in no way 'less safe' than a traditional bank because:

  • Your funds are stored in protected bank accounts;
  • Your funds are not used for the electronic money institution’s purposes. This means that if an electronic money institution stores your funds – it cannot lend or invest them for its benefit;
  • If an electronic money institution has debts – your funds cannot be targeted for its debt collection.

This is following Article 25 of the Law on Electronic Money and Electronic Money Institutions of the Republic of Lithuania.

On a final note

We hope that this blog post clears things up! While Paysera is not a bank (unless you live in Georgia), both banks and electronic money institutions have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs best (perhaps both?).

While the electronic money institution licence aligns best with our overall vision, we're also attentive to local requirements and needs. Hence, obtaining a bank licence in Georgia was the right move. Ultimately, your needs guide our decisions because your satisfaction is our priority.