Wide range of payment services. Payment cards issue. Equity capital – EUR 350 000. Licensing time – up to 3 months.
Licensed Electronic Money Institution (EMI) allows provide wider range of financial services comparing with Payment Institution designed for instant payment processing. Electronic Money Institution licensed in one European Union (EU) member state opens up business opportunities to act and provide services in all other EU/EEA countries, enjoying the benefits of a Common Market without any restrictions and additional requirements raised by the national regulators.
Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) – 500 million consumers and over 20 million businesses making and receiving payments in Euro at a low cost, under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location in Europe. Lithuanian licensed Payment and Electronic Money Institutions allowed join SEPA directly as banks.
Difference between Payment and Electronic Money Institution
Electronic Money (E-money) defined by European Central Bank as an electronic store of monetary value on a technical device that may be widely used for making payments to entities other than the e-money issuer. The device acts as a prepaid bearer instrument, which does not necessarily involve bank accounts in transactions. Directive 2009/110/EC established legal basis for e-money issuing in the European Union (EU).
The practical difference between Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and Payment Institution (PI) is that E-money institutions in addition to the services provided by PI are entitled to issue Electronic Money. It means that EMI is allowed to store clients’ funds for a longer period what Payment Institutions usually not allowed. EMI license allows issue of payment cards, e-wallets and other payment instruments requiring storage of the client funds.
Electronic Money Institution license is the right decision for the payment service providers planning wider range of services than just instant payment processing.
Favourable and Business Oriented Regulation
Electronic Money Institution or other FinTech company registered in Lithuania provides a significant competitive advantage and opens up European financial market at significantly lower costs. Lithuania and primarily its capital Vilnius became a new hub for the FinTech companies focused on international financial markets. Business oriented regulatory behaviour and significantly lower finance institution incorporation, licensing and maintenance costs is what makes Lithuania attractive for large international finance institutions as well as Fintech start-ups. Regulatory “Sandbox” – the Bank of Lithuania is committed to support start-ups and not to issue punishment for minor infringements during the first year of operation.
Lithuania has already implemented EU Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) allowing Payment Initiation Service (PIS) – initiation of a payment order from the client bank account at the request of the client from the payment account held at another payment service provider (bank). PSD 2 also allows E-money Institution provide Account Information Service (AIS) accessing consolidated information from the client accounts held by at another payment service providers (banks) and have overall view of client financial information.
Services provided by EMI
Licensed Electronic Money Institution provides following payment services:
– services enabling cash to be placed on a payment account.
– services enabling cash withdrawals from a payment account.
– execution of payment transactions, including transfers of funds on a payment account with the payment service provider of the payment service user or with another payment service provider: execution of direct debits, including one-off direct debits, execution of payment transactions through a payment card or a similar device and/or execution of credit transfers, including standing orders.
– execution of payment transactions where the funds are covered by a credit line for a payment service user: execution of direct debits, including one-off direct debits, execution of payment transactions through a payment card or a similar device and/or execution of credit transfers, including standing orders.
– issuing and/or acquiring of payment instruments.
– money transfers.
– execution of payment transactions where the consent of the payer to execute a payment transaction is given by means of any telecommunications terminal equipment, digital or IT device and the payment is made to the telecommunications network or IT system operator, acting only as an intermediary between the supplier of the goods or services and the payment service user.
– Payment Initiation Service (PSD2 implementation).
– Account Information Service (PSD2 implementation).
– issuing of Electronic Money.
Issue of Electronic Money on Blockchain
Modern regulatory approach allowing licensed Electronic Money Institutions issue Electronic Money on Blockchain. Employment of Blockchain and other modern technologies in traditional finance give Lithuanian licensed Electronic Money Institutions possibility to provide wider range of services and create a competitive advantage comparing to the companies licensed in other EU jurisdictions practising traditional finance institutions licensing methods.
Reasons why Lithuania is top jurisdiction for E-money institution licensing:
– No particular requirement for company management to reside in Lithuania.
– Application for a license submitted without establishing a company. Incorporation of a company starts only after the license granted.
– Fast licensing process. Issuing of Payment and Electronic Money Institution license within a period of 3 months or even faster. Business oriented regulation.
– Documents can be submitted in English and amended “on the go” instead of formal writing forth and back.
– Possibility for non-banks get own sorting codes for individual client IBAN accounts as a bank.
– Non-banks have a direct access to Single Euros Payment Area (SEPA) through the CENTROlink payment system managed by the Bank of Lithuania (Regulator). Only the banks in other jurisdictions can access SEPA directly. The Bank of Lithuania creates an infrastructure for instant payments that according to European Instant Payments Initiative will guarantee pan-European reach.
– PSD2 implementation allowing Payment Initiation Service (PIS) and Account Information Service (AIS).
– Remote client verification. Innovative “know your customer” processes for remote client verification allows open the accounts without physical presence of the client.
– License allows provision of the financial services in all European Union without any additional licensing. Fast and easy license passporting procedure to other European EU/EEA jurisdictions.
– No sanctions for the first year. The Bank of Lithuania is committed to support start-ups and not to issue punishment for minor infringements during the first year of operation.
– Start-up visa. Special visas for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries running innovative businesses in Lithuania.
Principal Membership in Mastercard and VISA
ECOVIS ProventusLaw assists Payment, E-money institutions and other FinTech companies in preparation of applications for both Mastercard and VISA Principal Participation and represents during all the process of becoming the Principal Member of Mastercard and VISA.
ECOVIS experience in finance institution licensing
Being part of ECOVIS International consulting network present in more than 60 counties around the world ECOVIS ProventusLaw currently considered as the most experienced financial advisor in Lithuania. During the period of last 12 months, ECOVIS licensed in Lithuania more than 10 Payment and Electronic Money institutions including big names deVere and Instarem setting up their European operations centres in Vilnius. ECOVIS ProventusLaw provides all the necessary services for the Payment Institution licensing, including preparation of licensing documentation, representation at the Bank of Lithuania during the licensing procedure, company incorporation, office registration, advice on IT, HR, compliance and other issues rising during the incorporation of payment business in Europe. After the licensing procedure completed, ECOVIS offers accounting, reporting, audit, compliance and legal services for the operational business.
More about Fintech licensing – www.ecovis.lt/fintech
More about ECOVIS experience – https://ecovis.lt/fintech/why-lithuania/