So, why does one obtain an Authorized Electronic Money Institution or Authorized Payment Institution license in Europe? Well, if someone is seeking to provide payment services, money transfer services, electronic wallets, prepaid cards, or merchant service, it is necessary for them to apply for a license. The application needs to be submitted to a relevant regulator (for example, the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom).
The directive PSD2
The second Payment Service Directive (the EU Directive 2015/2366) governs the conditions of providing payment services that should be obeyed by businesses such as building societies, banks, payment institutions, e-money institutions, their clients. Mainly, the Directive aims at protecting customers and ensuring the safety and security of the payments. In addition, its application is supposed to encourage a competitive payments landscape.
According to another EU Directive 2009/110/EC, e-money is “electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transaction, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer”. To illustrate, we can take electronic wallets or prepaid cards as examples of e-money.
The e-money EMI license provides an opportunity to offer the following services:
- Payment accounts
Debit cards or payment cards can be a great example of this type of service. Thanks to these accounts consumers can place funds or withdraw cash, use the account card for payment transactions. Moreover, customers can set up direct debits standing orders and transfer funds.
- Money remittance
Thanks to this service offered by the payment institutions, clients are able to transfer their funds internationally.
- Merchant services
This service type implies that the payment institutions can act as a master merchant and make merchants able to accept payments by card.
- Account information services
After receiving special permission from the user, a payment service provider can provide them access to the user’s account which is a place where customers can observe consolidated information about their accounts conveniently in one place.
- Payment initiation services
After receiving the user’s consent, the payment for goods and services can be initiated directly from the user’s account and does need to go through Visa or Mastercard networks.
Preparing for the license application
During this process, a company must demonstrate that its management, operational setup, and physical office are present in the European country where they are applying for the license. Also, it is necessary to have adequate resources such as sufficient financial funds for managing and operating the business. Additionally, the firm needs to demonstrate that its management and employees are suitable for conducting such activities. In order to ensure the safety of payments and prevent fraud, the firm must also show that it has proper IT systems and internal controls.
When it comes to the business plan, it must describe the payment activities and the market plan. Moreover, companies are required to make sure that their business lines of income, capital requirements, and other financial forecasts are calculated adequately.
COREDO is an experienced international consulting firm. We specialize in helping our clients obtain different kinds of financial licenses including EMI.