Fellow Finance, a Finnish peer-to-peer (P2P) lending marketplace, has secured authorisation as a payment institution from the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland.

The online lender, which currently has 273,000 users across 43 countries, said it is the first platform in Finland to gain such authorisation.

The firm said that the approval will enable it to expand offering in Europe and provide new services for consumer and corporate customers.  The move will also enable the firm to make use of the new payment service directive (PSD2) to drive growth, Fellow Finance said.

Fellow Finance CEO Jouni Hintikka said: “Together with the new upcoming PSD2 directive the payment institution authorisation opens up new opportunities in the evolving banking service environment.

“Our payment service authorisation is also a natural step towards clear operating environment which in turn increases trust, credibility and confidence in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending as an alternative investment and financing option.”