What can be a good alternative to a banking license given significantly lower costs of setting up and maintaining the infrastructure?
Maxim Ivanchenko, Advapay ОÜ, Canopus: The authorisation as a payment institution or an e-money institution can be a good alternative to a banking license .
Nowadays, e-money is an essential element of ecommerce, it exceeds cards and deposit money as payment facility whereas it is much more convenient, faster and cheaper in use, not only in the internet space but in real economy as well. Given that each Member State of the European Union had its own regulation in the matter of payments, the European Commission considered it necessary to adopt a uniform legislation in this regard:
- Since 2009, payment services in EU member states have been regulated by national laws and regulations transposing Directive 2007/64/EC on payment services in the internal market.
- Since 2011, the business of e-money issuers has been regulated by national laws and regulations transposing Directive 2009/110/EC on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions.
- From 13 January 2018, EU member states will be obliged to apply measures necessary to comply with a revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which significantly extends the scope for payment business. The Directives have introduced new types of market players: an electronic money institution and a payment institution which can enter the European market and expand across the EU having an alternative to save costs, achieve efficiency gains and realize economies of scale. A payment/e-money institution is allowed to carry out the following activities:
- Open to their clients – legal and natural persons - and maintain accounts for electronic money/payment accounts (including in IBAN format);
- Issue payment instruments such as pre-paid and debit cards;
- Remit money without any payment accounts;
- Receive funds on behalf of their clients, using different payment methods such as the payment card, money remittance, SWIFT credit transfer etc. It is obvious that the legal requirements for becoming a payment institution are significantly lower than those for becoming a bank. Businesses which had wanted to perform payment services for their customers but had stood back from the unmanageable procedures to obtain a banking license can now do become authorized as a payment institution relatively easily. The process of running payment processing business is a mechanism consisting of a pull of sessions.
In 2015, Advapay ОÜ has introduced a complex solution for running payment processing business in Europe, helping each client to create a complete infrastructure, which would make business prosperous, offering answers to a whole range of problems: from the acquisition of license and the development of the optimal business model to the deployment of required information systems, server co-location, website construction, selection of appropriate third party service providers and more.
Advapay ОÜ creates a payment service business in a EU state and deliver it ready for use. It is an all-in-one package comprising:
- Preliminary consultation, the selection of the most appropriate infrastructure, jurisdiction, type of licence, business model etc.
- Assistance with the authorisation process in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the UK, Malta or another EU member state;
- Development of required internal procedures and documents;
- Local office set-up and staffing;
- Implementation of a complete IT solution, including the accounting engine, mobile and internet banking systems, AML module and more;
- Hosting and maintenance of the IT solution;
- Establishment of business relationships with banks, third-party payment systems and payment service providers, including payment card issuers, money transfer systems etc