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Payment & E-Money Services Provider

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Licencing of E-Money (EMI) and Payment (PI) Institutions

The licensing procedure and the operation of E-Money (EMI) and Payment (PI) institutions are currently regulated by the EU Directive 2009/110/EC and harmonised in Cyprus by the Electronic Money Law of 2012 AND 2018 which transposed into national law as per the directives of the European Parliament and the Council. The Regulatory Body for the licensing and supervision of EMI’s in Cyprus is the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).

Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs)

E-money institution under EMI Directive (Directive 2009/110/EC) is a business very similar to Payment Institution, but there’s a key differentiator. E-money institution (EMI) can issue electronic money (the digital equivalent of cash stored on an electronic device). EMI can do all the things the Payment Institution can do and is also is allowed to provide IBAN accounts, payment cards and e-wallets.

Capital requirement is 350 000€.

Licensed Services/Activities

  1. Services that allow cash to be placed in a payment account, as well as all activities required to maintain a payment account.
  2. Services that allow cash withdrawals from a payment account, as well as all the activities needed to maintain a payment account.
  3. Execution of payment transactions, including capital transfers, to a payment account to the user’s payment service provider or to another payment service provider:
    • execution of direct charges, including one-time direct charges;
    • execution of payment operations with a payment card or similar device;
    • execution of credit transfers, including fixed orders.
  4. Execution of payment operations, when the money is covered by a credit opening for the user of payment services
    • execution of direct charges, including a one-time direct charge;
    • execution of payment operations with a payment card or similar device;
    • execution of credit transfers, including fixed orders.
  5. Issuance of means of payment and/or acceptance of payment transactions.
  6. Remittance services.
  7. Payment startup services.
  8. Account information services.

Further to the above EMIs are permitted to issue electronic money, in addition to the provision of all the payment services listed above. Electronic money is a monetary value represented by a claim on the issuer, which is:

  • Electronically-including magnetically-stored (e.g. chargeable internet based account, magnetic card).
  • Issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions (conversion of bank money into electronic money).
  • Accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer.

Payment Institutions (PIs)

Under PDS2 Directive (Directive 2015/2336/EU) offers services of execution of payment transactions, including credit transfers and direct debits, issuing or acquiring payment instruments, money remittances, foreign exchange services, and similar services. Payment Institution license is suitable for credit card processors, payment account operators, remittance businesses, foreign exchange businesses, payment initiation companies, and so forth.

Capital requirements

(a) 20,000 Euros, when it intends to provide payment of service 6 
(b) 50,000 Euros, when it intends to provide payment of service 7
(c) 125,000 Euros, when it intends to provide payment of services 1-5

Licensed Services/Activities

  1. Services that allow cash to be placed in a payment account, as well as all activities required to maintain a payment account.
  2. Services that allow cash withdrawals from a payment account, as well as all the activities needed to maintain a payment account.
  3. Execution of payment transactions, including capital transfers, to a payment account to the user’s payment service provider or to another payment service provider:
    • execution of direct charges, including one-time direct charges;
    • execution of payment operations with a payment card or similar device;
    • execution of credit transfers, including fixed orders.
  4. Execution of payment operations, when the money is covered by a credit opening for the user of payment services
    • execution of direct charges, including a one-time direct charge;
    • execution of payment operations with a payment card or similar device;
    • execution of credit transfers, including fixed orders.
  5. Issuance of means of payment and/or acceptance of payment transactions.
  6. Remittance services.
  7. Payment startup services.
  8. Account information services.

We help you with

  • Advisory support towards the authorisation and registration of EMI/PI
  • Preparation of the Application File in accordance with current regulatory requirements, to include, among others:
    • Design and build the structure based on your need and in a cost-efficient way;
    • Prepare a custom-built Operations Manual based on your needs and in the most efficient manner;
    • Prepare the Money Laundering Manual and Know Your Client (KYC) policies based on your needs and in the most efficient manner;
    • Prepare the business plan;
    • Complete the application form to be submitted to the relevant EU regulatory authority;
    • Review the questionnaires of the shareholders, directors and heads of departments of the proposed PI;
    • Locate qualified executive and non-executive directors (if needed);
    • Complete the relevant checklists;
    • Prepare necessary justifications to be submitted to the relevant EU regulatory authority, as applicable;
    • Prepare the letter(s) to accompany the application in the event that any exception may be requested;
    • Guide you in providing all the necessary documentation and certificates;
    • Answer any relevant questions concerning the application process;
    • Respond on your behalf to the authority’s queries and suggestions related to the Payment Institutions application.
  • Locating qualified Directors and personnel ;
  • Full legal, accounting and auditing support ;
  • Compliance consulting and support; and
  • Executive training for personnel.

Would you like to know more?

Book a free consultation with us today to discuss your payment processing needs.

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Members of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA). Registered Service Provider for the Cyprus Investment Program. Member of the Cyprus-India Association. Our team are Certified Persons in the Public Register of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and members of ICPAC