EMI-license is a specially-approved permit for issuing e-currency for enterprises and individuals. Registering this type of license, firms receive the rights enjoyed by classic payment organizations. Such an organization is able to make offline/online payments and provide sub-accounts within a bank account; it makes it possible to create electronic wallets and provide individual IBANs.

Users can benefit from the exchange of cash for e-money issued by firms and benefit from financial storage services. In addition, users are able to pay for services or goods with e-currency or make any transaction.

Our company is ready to provide you with professional comprehensive services in field of establishing and licensing business-projects. We’re also happy to advise you on any questions regarding EMI-licenses and other commercial industries.

General information about EMI-license in Europe

Today in Europe, payment firms are queuing up to get EMI (Electronic Money Institution) permits, since EU offers a stable regulatory framework for such enterprises, and strong ongoing support from the government apparatus. Each jurisdiction issues this permit, however, each regulator has its own rules for the extension of the permit. Therefore, before getting a license in a particular jurisdiction, it’s mandatory to compare their conditions in more or less detail.

By receiving an EMI-license, the company becomes almost a bank, but without rights to issue loans. Firm can open sub-accounts for its customers inside its bank account, thus creating an electronic wallet. Typically, such a permit is obtained by firms planning to create a user’s e-wallet on a web with abilities to withdraw funds, or when the wallet currency is intended to be used for mutual settlements on third-party websites.

Procedure for getting a permit may take from one to several months, it all depends on ways regulator carries out a scrupulous and leisurely check of details. We guarantee getting a legal and transparent status for your future company.

EMI-Licensing in EU

To initiate the process of getting an EMI-license in a particular European jurisdiction, it’s needed to first establish a firm in the country chosen by the entrepreneur. Controlling organizations in most European countries carry out in-depth verification of firms submitting applications. When collecting documentation and preliminary preparation, next-mentioned normative points are essential:

  • separate client account;
  • mandatory confirmation of professional qualifications of management personnel;
  • operational risks regulation;
  • firm needs to possess at least 2 founders (residents of EU-countries);
  • financial accounting/external audit obligations.

To get a permit in Europe, you need to create a firm. We’ll help you in all matters related to registration and organization of commercial activities.

  1. Registration of organization.
  2. Legal address, virtual office-premises, official number and mailbox.
  3. Accounting service range.
  4. Opening accounts in acquiring banks.
  5. Consultations in the field of AM.
  6. Software selection.
  7. Organization of receiving SWIFT.
  8. Receiving SEPA, Target2.
  9. Issue of debit cards.

Different European spaces establish additional rules to the generally accepted normative standards. It’s essential to be fluent in all existing points of regulatory bodies.

Variations in Licensing Requirements Across European Countries

Despite the fact that the EMI-license is generally accepted in the EU, each jurisdiction sets its own rules for the conditions for getting it, additionally to the generally accepted and required PSD2 (availability of software, risk control procedures, AML, client identification procedures, technological base, segregated client found account, operational risks, etc.). In Latvia, it’s no longer very profitable for companies to obtain a license due to the fact that its coverage was limited only in the territory of Latvia and only in cooperation with residents of the country.

The process of obtaining a license in Cyprus today has not only become more difficult, but the license itself is no longer so attractive. The regulator puts forward strict requirements for the geographical area of operation of firm and for its clients. Although the Cyprus license is pan-European, the regulator gives preference to cooperation with residents. Cyprus-license doesn’t allow connection to SEPA.

If we talk about non-European jurisdictions and similar permits, it’s worth noting that this market isn’t regulated as strictly as in Europe, but permissions themselves have different peculiarities. If we talk about European firms, PSD2 says that banks cannot refuse payment companies to open an account without any reason. Opening and maintaining a European banking account for a European payment firm isn’t easy.

Regulations in different jurisdictions

Rules of law adopted in each jurisdiction have specific features of their own regulation. Nevertheless, they’re mostly insignificant, since the EU has general rules and regulations that control this area of activity. EU-legislation prescribes normative points for the structure of governing bodies of e-money institutions and directly for the management of such firms.

The following management bodies are created in an electronic money institution:

  • institution head: he/she needs to have a higher education in the field of law, economics, business-administration and have an impeccable reputation, competence and experience in holding the position of head for at least two years in the previous eight years;
  • General Meeting of Shareholders;
  • council (board) consisting of at least two people with higher education in the field of law, economics, business administration or management, as an option – experience in these areas from one year over the past five years;
  • control commission.

Additionally, each firm is also required to comply with the following points.

  1. Firm needs to possess the appropriate software.
  2. Implementation of procedures for monitoring various risks.
  3. Implementation of AML-policies.
  4. Transparent and secure customer identification procedures.
  5. Availability of technological databases and separate client accounts.
  6. Mandatory accounting records.

European regulation is aimed at supporting business-structures, especially in Fintech-field, so the costs for opening such an enterprise are lower here, and the time frame for obtaining licenses is shorter.

Our lawyers are experienced experts ready to devote all their efforts and knowledge to professional assistance for your commercial project. We’ll become your reliable allies and associates on your business-path. Quality of our service range is guaranteed by hundreds of satisfied customers worldwide who now choose only us.

The author of this article is Denys Chernyshov – CEO and founder of the world-famous law firm Eternity Law International.